Rather than viewing Dry January as a threat to their business, the alcohol industry views it as a neat distraction from an inconvenient truth. Although alcohol consumption is declining overall, 4.4% of the population account for more than 30% of all the alcohol sold in the UK. But Dry January is not aimed at high-risk drinkers, as Alcohol Change UK makes clear. It would be potentially life-threatening for people in this group to suddenly stop drinking. They need specialist support to reduce their alcohol intake if they are to avoid harming their health or, worse, dying.
Abrupt alcohol withdrawal can kill. So there is a real danger that these campaigns play well with the alcohol industry as they distract attention from a group of people who are at the greatest risk of dying prematurely due to alcohol.
You’ve got to be really caning it – couple of bottles of spirits a day level – for going cold turkey on booze to kill you. So, nice rhetorical trick there but no cigar really.