State Alcohol Taxes and Health:
A Citizen's Action Guide

CHAPTER 6

INTRODUCTION

This section will help identify and quantify some of the major economic and social costs of alcohol in your community. Compiling this information is an important part of an education campaign about the need for the alcohol excise tax increases.

You'll be competing against mountains of propaganda from the alcoholic-beverage industry. That information, reinforced by advertising, publicity campaigns, and public service announcements, gets widespread notice. The industry's side of the story stresses its economic and social contributions to society, the potential health benefits of moderate drinking, and the historic role of alcohol. Compared to this onslaught, legislators, journalists, and the public hear little about the extensive costs of alcohol.

Identifying those costs in your state will help you gain the attention of policy makers and the public. This chapter will help you get started by:

  • describing some of the costs of alcohol at a national level
  • offering suggestions about how to translate these national data into information that addresses state and local concerns
  • providing sources of nation state and local information

CSPI 1996

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