They say Congress’s decision to cut alcohol taxes by 16 percent also contrasts with lawmakers’ treatment of cigarettes, a health threat they consider on par with alcohol, which has seen its levies climb nearly 1,500 percent since 1970.

“The cheaper alcohol is, the more people drink and the more they have alcohol problems, and there is a huge international literature that has shown that over and over and over,” said David Jernigan, head of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins University. “The public health ramifications of this continue to be invisible to policymakers.”