Objective: To examine the effect of the application, and removal, in the Northern Territory of a levy on the sale of cask wine—a beverage shown to contribute disproportionately to alcohol-related harm.
Method: Using data on licensee purchases of alcoholic beverages and ABS population data, estimates were made of per capita consumption of pure alcohol by beverage type. Time series variables were analysed using multiple linear regression analysis.
Results: Prior to the introduction of the levy, quarterly per capita consumption of cask wine among persons aged =15 years was 0.73 litres, during the levy period this fell to 0.49 litres, and following removal of the levy rose to 0.58 litres. Imposition of the levy had no significant effect on the consumption of other beverages.
Conclusions: Taxation is an effective means of reducing excessive alcohol consumption and related harm.
Implications: In the interests of public health, support should be given to the introduction of a tiered tax based on alcohol content.