Charley Mann at The Press reports:
Those who enjoy a glass or two should ignore the ”badly overstated” warnings about alcohol over the festive season, a University of Canterbury academic says.
The flurry of alcohol warnings ahead of Christmas were overstated and incorrect, said economics lecturer Dr Eric Crampton. ”Nobody warns us about the warnings.”
“And there’s danger in that … since some of the warnings are either false or badly overstated.”
Crampton said health warnings on alcohol focused ”exclusively” on curbing the harm experienced by heavy drinkers but ignored the enjoyment for moderate drinkers. This risked doing more harm than good, Crampton said.
”It is hard to open the paper without finding dire warnings about alcohol’s costs to the country. But how often do we hear that drinkers earn more than non-drinkers?
“Or that light drinkers have lower mortality risk than non-drinkers? Or that light-to-moderate drinking predicts better ageing outcomes?
Fundamentally alcohol is very different to tobacco. Tobacco kills you, even in moderation. Almost everyone who smokes wants to give up smoking. Very few moderate or light drinkers want to give up alcohol.
Hence the focus should be on heavy or binge drinking, not on demonising alcohol overall.