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IEA - Comparing drinking to smoking is pointless and misleading

Christopher Snowdon comments on a new study in the journal BMC Public Health

Commenting on a new study – published in the open access journal BMC Public Health – which calculates alcohol cancer risk in cigarette equivalents , Christopher Snowdon, Head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

“This is a shameless attempt to conflate drinking with smoking, by activist-academics who want to regulate alcohol like tobacco.

“The pointless and misleading comparison between drinking a bottle of wine a week and smoking ten cigarettes a week (1.4 a day) overlooks the fact that people who drink a bottle of wine a week live longer than those who do not drink at all.”

A comparison of gender-linked population cancer risks between alcohol and tobacco: how many cigarettes are there in a bottle of wine?

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Kate Andrews, Associate Director: or 07476 915 072

For related IEA research on alcohol and the public purse, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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