According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than ten million people die every year from drinking alcohol or eating an unhealthy diet. With taxes on alcohol and sugary drinks, governments could reduce these deaths, the WHO reported in Geneva. She published a handbook with practical tips for introducing higher alcohol taxes. She criticizes European countries for their handling of wine.

For beer, the consumption tax share of the best-selling brand is 17.2 percent. For the best-selling spirit it is 26.5 percent. The WHO does not name names. She thinks that’s not enough. “Taxes that raise the price of alcohol by 50 percent help prevent 21 million deaths over 50 years, a 2017 study shows,” the WHO reported. In addition, 17 trillion dollars (15.7 trillion euros) in additional revenue would be generated in the same period. According to the WHO,┬áthere are excise taxes on alcohol in 148 countries. However, wine is excluded from this in at least 22 countries, mainly in Europe.

Higher taxes lead to lower consumption, according to the WHO. This prevents deaths and injuries in road traffic and reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. In addition, higher taxes are an incentive for manufacturing companies to make healthier products. In a recent WHO-sponsored survey of 7,000 participants in Colombia, India, Jordan, Tanzania and the USA, more than 60 percent supported higher taxes on alcohol to prevent deaths.