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Swiss drinkers turn to the hard stuff

Sales of hard alcohol have risen by a quarter in Switzerland following last year's tax reduction on foreign spirits.

This content was published on March 31, 2000 - 15:12

Sales of hard alcohol have risen by a quarter in Switzerland following last year's tax reduction on foreign spirits. At the same time, drinking levels as a whole have dropped by around two per cent, with consumption of beer and wine down almost five per cent.

The latest figures were released as part of an interim study by the federal authorities, based on surveys conducted before and after the change in taxation. The report draws no conclusions as to the middle- and long-term effects of the change, although a third survey will be conducted in April.

Switzerland lowered the tax on foreign spirits in order to comply with world trade regulations on import duties. The price of some foreign brands subsequently dropped by as much as half.

The government report also reveals that spirit consumption has risen most sharply amongst young drinkers and particularly young men. Next month the department of health will launch a campaign warning of the possible dangers of drinking too much.

swissinfo with agencies




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