"Alcohol industry giants like Diageo, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and MillerCoors claim they promote responsible drinking, but a new study from the UK reveals the 'dirty little secret' that most of their profits come from 'harmful' and 'hazardous' customers.
"Of the estimated £37.8 billion ($54bn) profit reaped by English alcohol sales in 2013, £23.7 billion came from what health professionals call 'harmful' and 'hazardous' drinkers who risk their health and cause lethal damage, according to the Guardian.
"'Hazardous' drinkers consume more than 14 'units' per week, equal to about seven pints, whereas 'harmful', or 'risky', drinkers consume more than 50 units per week for men, or 35 for women.
"This can lead to liver problems, cancer, and anti-social problems like domestic abuse, drunk driving, and other forms of violence.
"Looking at data from the Health Survey for England, researchers from Southampton University were able to calculate how this translates in financial terms, concluding that £14.4 billion ($20bn) worth of sales came from 'hazardous' drinkers and £9.3 billion ($13bn) from 'harmful' drinkers.
"Official figures from England's Health & Social Care Information Centre show the fatal repercussions of consumption are 6,592 alcohol-related deaths in 2013, a ten percent increase in just ten years.
"This echoes a new report from Australia this week which was also shows the alcohol industry’s heavy reliance on risky drinkers.
"Australia’s main consumers of alcohol represent just 20 percent of the population, but account for over 74 percent of all the alcohol consumed each year.
"The findings demonstrate that if this 20 percent reduced their consumption to within the guidelines, the total alcohol consumed in Australia would decrease by 39 percent.
"'The alcohol industry is totally dependent on risky drinking,' Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research & Education, said. 'This is its dirty little secret. It’s an industry built on identifying, targeting and exploiting its best customers.'"
Read more: https://www.rt.com/news/329932-alcohol-profits-problem-drinkers/
I don't think this is really something new. I've heard of other such studies in the past. I bet (get it?) that most of the gambling industry's profits come from problem gamblers or gambling addicts, too..