Alcohol consumption increased 10% in 2004, clearly more than in the early 2000s. With few exceptions, alcohol-related harms increased. Alcohol-induced liver disease deaths increased the most, by 46% in 2004–06 compared to 2001–03, which indicates a strong effect on pre-2004 heavy drinkers. Consumption and harms increased most among middle-aged and older segments of the population, and harms in the worst-off parts of the population in particular.
Alcohol taxation and alcohol prices affect consumption and related harms, and heavy drinkers are responsive to price. In Finland in 2004, the worst-off parts of the population paid the highest price in terms of health for cuts in alcohol prices. The removal of travellers' import quotas, which was an inherent part of creating the single European market, had serious public health consequences in Finland.