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2010 Centre for Addiction
and Mental Health

Does Price Really Matter?

International perspectives on the impact of alcohol pricing and taxation

For Immediate Release – December 2, 2010 – (Toronto) – Increasingly alcohol use is becoming a public health concern -- according to the World Health Organization, drinking is the third leading risk factor for disability and disease worldwide. Accounting for $5.3 billion in direct and indirect costs to society in Ontario alone, alcohol abuse is second only to tobacco when it comes to the social burden it leaves behind.

Research indicates that pricing and taxation are among the most effective policy interventions to decrease the harms related to alcohol use. But what does international experience actually show?

In collaboration with the Ontario Public Health Association, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will explore that question with a forum on alcohol pricing and taxation on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 from 8AM to 12:30PM at CAMH (33 Russell Street, Toronto, Ontario - Room 2029 ‐ The Meeting Centre). This Forum will present current evidence and perspectives from Canada, Finland, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States.



Tim Stockwell, Director, Centre for Addictions Research BC, Victoria, British Columbia

Alcohol pricing for public health: General principles, the devil and the details

Esa Österberg, Senior Researcher, National Institute of Health and Welfare

Helsinki, Finland

Alcohol taxes - an under-used opportunity for harm reduction


Barry Goodwin, Assistant Deputy Minister, Revenue Agencies Oversight Division

Ontario Ministry of Finance, Toronto

Minimum pricing of Alcohol in Ontario


Petra Meier, Professor of Public Health, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom

UKalcohol price policies - a look at model-based evidence and industry, health lobby and government (re)actions


Bundit Sorpaisarn, Ph.D. Student, University of Toronto; Kevin Shield Post-Graduate Fellow, CAMH; Jürgen Rehm Director, Social & Epidemiological Research Dept., CAMH

An alcohol tax method that can decrease alcohol consumption and prevent youth drinking initiation simultaneously: Thailand's experience


William Kerr, Senior Scientist, Alcohol Research Group, Emeryville, California, United States

Alcohol taxation and pricing issues in the US


For more information and to confirm attendance, media contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416-595-6015; or by email at


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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centres in its field. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.

CAMH is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, and is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre. For more information, please visit

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