Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Q: What's the difference between beer and "hard liquor"?

A: "Beer drinking accounts for most of the hazardous alcohol consumption reported in the United States"

(see Rogers and Greenfield, Journal of Research on Alcohol, 1999)

And the hazardous consumption attributable to beer is greater than beer's share of all alcohol consumed in the U.S.

The Big Beer interests funding the NO on 1100 campaign are trying to convince us that allowing 3,000 grocery stores currently licensed to sell beer to also sell Scotch would somehow be far more dangerous to public safety than the status quo of selling beer in the 5,000+ outlets that currently sell beer. Their explanation is that beer and "hard liquor" are "different".

Well, yes they are. As the aforementioned research (and other research) has found, beer accounts for more problem drinking and public health and safety problems than wine and liquor put together. Of course, the alcohol in beer is the same substance as the alcohol in Chivas Regal. But for whatever reasons of attitudes and behaviors regarding alcoholic beverages, beer is the drink of choice for underage and dangerous drinkers. The research stops short of proving a causal relationship, but experts believe reckless beer consumption is likely encouraged by a widespread misperception that beer is a "safer" form of alcohol. And that's precisely the misperception that the Beer Industry is exploiting and encouraging in this campaign.

Meanwhile, the "Protect Our Communities" campaign has been completely unable to produce a shred of evidence-based research to support their scaremongering that expanding the mix of alcoholic beverages at licensed grocery stores could plausibly lead to any increase on public health and safety problems. This should confirm that the "Protect Our Communities" campaign scaremongering about liquor in grocery stores has absolutely nothing to do with actually protecting anybody's communities. It is solely about protecting one group of vendors from competition and consumer choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment