Control States Protect Public Health

Control States Protect Public Health

New Research Shows Privatization of Alcohol Sales Results in More Alcohol-Related Death


SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Alcohol industry watchdog Marin Institute joined with Canadian and American researchers today to call attention to disturbing findings in a new study that should put the debate over privatizing alcohol sales in U.S. control states to rest once and for all.

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The study, published yesterday in the international journal Addiction, focused on the privatization of the British Columbia liquor market from 2003 to 2008 and found a startling proliferation in the number of private liquor outlets – over 40%. More disturbing was the 27.5% increase in alcohol-related deaths for every extra private liquor store per 1,000 people.

The research was conducted by the University of Victoria’s Center for Addictions Research and the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley, California.

“This new study confirms the research in our 2010 report, Control State Politics: Big Alcohol’s Attempt to Dismantle Regulation State by State,” said Michele Simon, J.D., MPH, research and policy director at Marin Institute. “There is a very real threat to public health when a few major players put their own economic interests ahead of sound public policy. Now we have even more proof that governments desperate for short-term cash are risking increased consumption and the related deaths and harm in their states.

Currently in the U.S., state control systems under threat include North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, despite such efforts being met with failure last year.

“Powerful, profit-driven industry players only want to increase their own alcohol sales regardless of the proven dangers to public health,” Simon added. “Hopefully, this study will put these fruitless and time-wasting debates to rest in control states so we can focus on reducing the harm that already exists, instead of finding ways to increase it.

To read the Addiction study, go to

To read Marin Institute’s report, visit


Michael Scippa

415 548-0492

Jorge Castillo

213 840-3336

SOURCE Marin Institute

Control States Protect Public Health