Isn’t this just amazing?

The alcohol industry makes most of its money – an estimated £23.7bn in sales in England alone – from people whose drinking is destroying or risking their health, say experts who accuse the industry of irresponsible pricing and marketing.

While the industry points to the fact that most people in the country are moderate drinkers, 60% of alcohol sales are either to those who are risking their health, or those – labelled harmful drinkers – who are doing themselves potentially lethal damage, figures seen by the Guardian show.

Well, yes, obviously really.

Of the 69%, he said, 38% was consumed by “hazardous” or “increasing risk” drinkers who exceed the old guidelines of 14 units a week for women and 21 for men (these have recently come down to 14 units each, with some alcohol-free days), either by bingeing or regular drinking. The rest was consumed by harmful drinkers on more than 50 units a week for men or 35 for women, whose addiction might lead to liver problems including cirrhosis. Public Health England estimates that 10.8 million people drink at risky levels and 1.6 million may have some level of dependence on alcohol.

To summarise, people who drink more make up more of the sales of the industry than people who drink less.

Amazing what science can tell us really.

26 thoughts on “Isn’t this just amazing?”

  1. To add to the pointlessness of the stat: isn’t current guidance that virtually any alcohol destroys your health?

    This sounds like saying that the tobacco industry gets all it’s profits from people who smoke.

  2. A “problem drinker” is now someone who drinks over 14 units a week. That is, more than seven pints in seven days. That clearly is an absurd assertion, but most people will associate “problem drinker” wth actual drunks or people who go out, drink ten pints and start fights.

    In five years it will be “more than ten units”.

    The puritans are very good at keeping the language the same but slowly and fundamentally changing the definition underneath. They are profoundly, dangerously dishonest.

  3. whose addiction might lead to liver problems including cirrhosis

    I drink north of 50 units per week, have done since my student days nearly 40 years ago, but it is not my addiction, it is my choice. Nobody has provided me with convincing arguments as to why I shouldn’t so I carry on.

  4. Difficult for me to convert British units to American, but I’ll take a stab at it. Based on Rob’s conversion, an American 12 oz beer would be 1.5 units. If so, I drink 6-7 units per day. My doctors know, and the don’t care.

    More to the point: a few years ago, I became concerned about cirrhosis, as I heard “excessive” drinking could cause it. I found a reliable source that said that drinking ten beers a day would give you a 30% chance of getting cirrhosis. As I was at five or less per day, I decided it was nothing to worry about.

    American medical science has said for years that up to 2 beers a day (3 units) is actually BENEFICIAL.

    The article has the standard Libtard static view of the world, that jacking up the price will only produce their desired result, and no other results. Hence, unintended consequences pending.

  5. Calculating units is easy. It’s the alcohol by volume multiplied by the volume in litres. 0.568 L of Newkie Broon times 4.7 ABV gives 2.66 units.

  6. One thing’s always troubled me about these “limits”.
    I’ve always been lead to believe that it was the alcohol content that killed you, so how do the varying alcohol percentages in different drinks make any sense?
    Beer strength varies from (say) 3.5% abv up to 7,8 or 9%. Spirits can go from whatever % to 60% plus, and there’s never a distinction drawn. So, it’s OK for me to have either 14 units of 3.5% beer, or 14 units of 60% Scotch then-or is it?
    I paid a rare visit to my GP last week (not alcohol related). She asked me how much I drink. I replied that I regularly exceed the government’s recommended limits for men–on a nightly basis. She didn’t know whether to smile or tell me off. I’m 69, so she smiled.

  7. The drinkers and smokers are heroic figures in my book. Not only do they contribute far more in taxes than their addictions cause damage, they also die younger, thus helping the population ageing problem. Society would be far better off if everyone smoked and drank themselves to death aged 65 or 70.

  8. And probably better for the people dying younger too. All these 80/90/100 year old senile living corpses we have these days stuffed in nursing homes, thats no life. If they were animals we’d have put them down out of pity.

  9. Intractable Potsherd

    The insanity of the situation goes further when you consider that raising the price per unit will put off a far higher percentage of those who are not at risk of harm than those who are. The ones who are in the bracket of dangerous drinking (by any sane measure – not the puritan crap being spouted) will keep drinking, but have less money for other pursuits, such as eating/keeping warm. Now, I’m not saying that the actual aim of this policy is make sure anyone who drinks too much will be more likely to die of causes related to poverty,* but it is such an obvious outcome that it is hard to see how it could be missed.

    *Or will turn to crime to enable them to keep their blood:alcohol ratio at their favoured level.

  10. I really am starting to think the only way to get these bastards off our necks is a campaign of selected assassinations. Give them something serious to worry about. Although I suppose we could start with drive by shootings & work up.

  11. I’ve even got a slogan:
    “Unsolicited health warnings can be dangerous for your health. ”
    (You can also ring the Unsolicited Health Warning Helpline on 0800…. It’s never too late to give up)

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    @johntheBridge

    “I paid a rare visit to my GP last week (not alcohol related). She asked me how much I drink. I replied that I regularly exceed the government’s recommended limits for men–on a nightly basis. She didn’t know whether to smile or tell me off. I’m 69, so she smiled.”

    My GP doesn’t ask me now and whenever I am asked elsewhere I reply “more than your profession recommends” and leave it at that.

    I’m thinking about dropping profession given the way they are behaving.

  13. I notice they refer to as if it’s almost single instances and they don’t factor in the many people drink at significantly higher levels in their younger years including binge drinking but don’t necessarily maintain that level

  14. Bloke in Costa Rica

    bis: this pretty much applies to all overweening bureaucracy. I would favour a modern day embodiment of the policy of Zaleucis of Locri, where if a statutory instrument gets a thumbs down from the general public, the entire staff of the agency concerned is instantly garotted.

  15. I know a few heavy drinkers. 20 units a day plus.
    Raise the price and they will have the same intake. Raise the price again they will have the same intake.

    I like a nice drink – whisky by choice. Raise the price and will still drink.

    I suspect its simply the fact that people do what they want not what the puritanical deciders of other peoples lives want.

  16. As I sip my third large Vodka and tonic of the evening I reflect on the fact that I begrudge nothing of the price that I’ve paid to Tescos or Smirnoff or even Schweppes for what my pleasure has cost me.

    I do, however – when I think of it – begrudge to fucking hell the fucking tax I pay that goes to give a far more comfortable living than I ever achieved to the likes of the fucking Public fucking Health warriors.

  17. Mrs Scroblene and I have been making our own hooch since 1974. We always exceed the ‘limits’, because that’s what we do, and nobody will tell us otherwise.

    The said hooch is made from elderberries, which have a proper beneficial effect on the metabolism and much better than any government twaddle.

  18. @Johnthebridge

    a similar experience to yours with the practice nurse who asked me whether I find myself weaving after drinking in the evening.

  19. asked me whether I find myself weaving after drinking in the evening.

    “Not very often, I don’t own a loom.”

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