TIME TO QUESTION ALCOHOL’S RISKS
WHY is alcohol more socially acceptable than smoking? Last week, Federal Labor announced it would increase the price of a packet of cigarettes to $40, if it was voted in to power. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a fan of cigarettes and I know the damage they cause. But if we are going to be a nanny state and tax all risky behaviour out of existence, then we have to look closely at the damage caused by alcohol. Results of a national survey of hospital emergency departments released last week showed half a million people a year came to hospital for emergency treatment as a direct result of alcohol consumption. This is a massive burden on the health system and does not take into account the longterm health effects of excessive drinking. Add the destruction caused by alcohol-fuelled domestic violence, car accident deaths and serious assaults and the community must question our acceptance of such an insidious drug.
Rick Lee - regional editor