The Law of Supply and Demand

 law of supply and demand

Minimum Pricing on Alcohol.

That’s a new strategy being thrown around by governments and policy makers.   While it’s a new strategy, being embraced in a few places, it’s not exactly a new idea.

It’s pretty much just fundamental supply and demand.  When you raise the price of something, you lower the demand, as people are cost-sensitive to the money involved.

Research is out there, showing that when you raise the price of booze by 10% (say, across the board, with taxes, or minimum price structures, legislation) you reduce overall consumption by 5%.   They have already imposed similar measures in Ireland to raise the minimum price of standard beverages – like the cost per pint or bottle of beer, and they are investigating similar ideas here in Canada, and in the UK.

Why do it?  Well, you reduce harms like violence and crime, and you reduce consumption in the heaviest drinkers.

But what about the rest of us, you ask?  If I don’t have a problem with alcohol, why should I pay more?

Funny enough, many of us are social drinkers, but we still suffer from alcohol with chronic diseases such as stroke, heart disease and liver disease.  Shouldn’t we be able to police ourselves?  Can’t we be trusted to control our own consumption without resorting to heavy-handed measures such as taxation, when we already feel taxed to death in this county and this province?

We want to hear your thoughts!

Author: Doug Ironside RN

Doug is a Registered Nurse (PHN) with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

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