A tax rise on RTDs in Germany has seen adolescents in the country turn to other forms of alcohol, according to recent research.

In a report on the findings of the Institut für Therapieforschung (IFT) in the latest issue of the journal Addiction, researchers considered the result of a tax levy on RTDs – also known as alcopops - in Germany back in 2004.

“While alcopop consumption declined after the alcopops tax was implemented, consumption of spirits increased,” the researchers found. “Changes in beverage preference revealed a decrease in alcopop preference and an increase in the preference for beer and spirits."

The research, based on a survey of 4,694 ninth and tenth graders in the country, indicates “a partial substitution of alcopops by spirits and a switch in preference to beverages associated with riskier drinking patterns”, the researchers said.

The German government claimed at the time that the price increase caused by the levy was “the most effective means of reducing the consumption of alcopops among underaged young people”.

The IFT concluded: “Effective alcohol policies to prevent alcohol-related problems should focus upon the reduction of total alcohol consumption instead of regulating singular beverages.”

The full report can be purchased here.