The increase in mortality from alcohol induced cirrhosis of the liver in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark from 1961 to 1974 is compared. Mortality from alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver increased in Finland and Denmark tenfold and fivefold respectively from 1961 to 1974. The increase has been particularly marked since 1968. In Sweden a threefold increase and in Norway a doubling of mortality in males was ascribed to alcohol induced liver cirrhosis. Mortality from non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver remained practically unchanged during the period. Increases in mortality from liver cirrhosis due to alcohol abuse run parallel with increases in alcohol consumption; the countries with the highest mortality have the highest consumption. The distribution of consumption of beer, wine and spirit is compared in the four countries: consumption of spirits predominates in Sweden, in Finland spirits and beer, in Denmark beer and wine and in Norway spirits and beer. Doubling of alcohol consumption in a country is followed by a fourfold increase in the number of addicts, and fourfold increase in alcohol induced diseases.