Press Releases
pdf (English)
pdf (Spanish)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                             

Contact: Michael Scippa: 415 548-0492
Jorge Castillo: 213 840-3336

Alcohol Justice Researchers Publish New Articles on State Alcohol Excise Taxes and Alcohol Ads on Public Transit in Journal of World Medical and Health Policy

SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA (September 24, 2014) – Researchers at Alcohol Justice have received news that accounts of two long-term projects have been published in a special alcohol policy issue of World Medical and Health Policy. "Optimal U.S. State Alcohol Excise Taxes to Recover Government Cost of Excessive Consumption" by Holley Shafer, and "Alcohol Ads on Public Transit: Policies From Major Metropolitan Areas in the United States" by Sarah Mart and Jessica Blakemore, are now available.

Shafer’s study measures the abysmal failure of state governments to raise additional taxes to compensate for direct government and societal costs of alcohol-related health care, crime prevention, productivity loss, criminal justice, and property damage. Excessive alcohol consumption causes and estimated $223 billion in economic harm annually in the United States with $94 billion in direct cost to federal, state, and local governments.

“This study illuminates the tremendous shortfall of alcohol excise taxes to recover the significant economic cost of excessive consumption borne by states,” stated Shafer, Senior Research and Policy Analyst at Alcohol Justice. “Raising alcohol excise taxes is the single most effective public health intervention to reduce excessive consumption and alcohol-related harm, and states can use these optimal figures as a starting point to examine their alcohol tax policies.”

Mart & Blakemore studied the presence and types of alcohol advertising policies for public transit in major metropolitan areas in the United States. They analyzed these policies to find whether they ban or allow alcohol ads on public transit. Then they looked at actual ad ban language to categorize its location in agency policy, contract requirements, or government policy.

“Cities and counties do not have to accept alcohol ads, on transit vehicles or other public property,” said Sarah Mart, Director of Research at Alcohol Justice. “Instead, municipalities should demand that sign brokers such as Clear Channel bring in advertising that does not pose documented threats to the safety of children who live there. Municipalities should protect youth by refusing to advertise harmful products such as alcohol.”

To request an electronic copy of either article, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Click the following links to read Alcohol Justice fact sheets about increasing alcohol taxes and out-of-home alcohol advertising.