Why don’t people like government increasing prices on unhealthy items?

Stack of coins isolated on the background.Price interventions can be one of the most effective ways of changing behaviour – particularly for reducing consumption of tobacco and alcohol – but public support for these interventions is usually low.

In this focus group study, three themes emerged for the low acceptability of price increases to reduce consumption of alcohol and fast foods:

  1. Doubting that it works to reduce consumption
  2. Believing government raises prices to generate revenue rather than protect health
  3. Not trusting the government.

Highlighting evidence of intervention effectiveness might increase the acceptability of price interventions.

Public attitudes towards pricing policies to change health-related behaviours: a UK focus group study. Somerville, Marteau, Kinmonth & Cohn, 2015.

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