Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


A danger lurking in wait for the holiday season

A danger lurking in wait for the holiday season – UC economics lecturer

November 23, 2012

There's a danger lurking in wait for us this holiday season, a University of Canterbury (UC) senior economics lecturer Dr Eric Crampton said today.

As people head for the bach and beaches, they will hear many warnings about holiday drinking, he said.

``But nobody warns us about the warnings. And, there's danger in that as well, since some of the warnings are either false or badly overstated,’’ he said.

Dr Crampton will be delivering a public lecture on campus next Wednesday on the issues of alcohol and what if alcohol's social costs were overstated.

He will discuss his work comparing social costs, as measured in the public health literature, with more standard economic notions of cost.

Recent figures alleging a $4.8 billion social cost of alcohol, when re-examined using more standard method, found that only about a fifth of that figure would properly count.

People enjoy moderate drinking; policy focused exclusively on curbing the harms experienced by heavy drinkers while ignoring moderate drinkers’ enjoyment which risks doing more harm than good.

Dr Crampton will discuss the influence of bad statistics around alcohol on the Law Commission’s review and on legislation before noting some of the other, less publicised, findings around alcohol and moderate drinking.

``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 aging outcomes? Or, that light drinking during pregnancy really does not seem associated with adverse outcomes?

``Should we really count the $700 million that heavier drinkers spent on their own alcohol as being a cost to the country?

``We often see statistics cited showing the increase in per capita alcohol consumption since 1997: from 1997 to 2011, it increased by 16 percent. But the Statistics New Zealand series from which those figures are drawn do go back to 1986, before liberalisation of New Zealand’s alcohol laws.

``Alcohol consumption dropped by more than a third from 1986 to 1997; we remain well below the consumption levels that prevailed prior to 1992. Problem drinking among youths, on the whole, is no worse now than it was prior to the alcohol purchase age being reduced to 18. There really seems little basis for claims that New Zealand faces worse outcomes around alcohol now than it did 20 years ago.

While there were serious and real harms associated with heavy drinking, moderate drinkers should use common sense this holiday season, relax, and enjoy themselves, Dr Crampton said.

Drinking up to two standard drinks per day was associated with reasonable health benefits and drinking up to four standard drinks per day was no worse than abstinence in aggregate health outcomes, he said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news