Section 10: Scotch Whisky and Health
Yes. Research carried out
in several countries has shown that drinking in moderation
can be beneficial. This has been endorsed in a report by the
British Medical Association which states that up to 30 grams
of alcohol a day - the equivalent of four single whiskies - can
help protect against heart disease. Alcohol can also help
relieve stress and promote appetite and sleep. especially
among the elderly. At the same time the Scotch Whisky
Industry recognises that misuse of alcohol can not only
damage health in a number of ways. but may cause domestic
and financial problems.
of alcohol related problems varies from country to country. In
Britain the incidence of drunkenness, alcohol related illnesses
and drunk driving is amongst the lowest in the world and
official figures indicate that less than 2 per cent of those who
drink alcoholic beverages have a drinking problem.
The Scotch Whisky Industry believes that the best way of
preventing the misuse of alcohol is by education in sensible
and moderate drinking and that this education should start at
an early age. Attempts to reduce alcohol related problems by
imposing massive taxes on drink or introducing restrictions
on its sale and availability only penalise the great majority
who drink sensibly, without reaching the problem drinker.
Where these restrictive measures have been applied they
have led to social problems far worse than those they were
intended to solve.
For many years The Scotch Whisky Association
and individual whisky companies have sponsored research aimed
at discovering why it is that there are those who seem unable to
control their drinking. It also sponsors educational programmes
based on such research and targeted at those thought to be most
at risk of misusing alcohol, for example young people and drivers
who drink as well as at doctors. nurses and social workers,
because they are in the best position to help the problem drinker.
© SWA 1995