There is a new report out from the Health Research Board that shows that there was a 30% increase in the number of alcohol-related crimes between 2003 and 2007.
In that period, there were well over 66,000 crimes attributable to alcohol.
There is no breakdown of the nature of the crimes, but we must assume it ranges from assault, through burglaries to murder. Pretty serious stuff.
Averaged out over the period, that means that every day, 36 people had their property damaged or stolen, or they were injured or killed. And seeing as the figures are increasing so dramatically, that must mean that the number of victims per day must be significantly higher now.
One thing struck me about this.
During that period, I don’t ever remember hearing about a house being robbed because someone had smoked too many cigarettes. I never heard of someone being beaten up because the perpetrator had one cigar too many. I never heard of a murder caused by overindulgence in the pipe. I may be missing something here, but in fact I don’t remember any crime being committed anywhere because someone was smoking. Not one.
So here we have 66,000 and more victims who have suffered injury, loss and death at the hands of drinkers. I suppose you could call them victims of passive drinking?
Yet all we hear about is passive smoking. No victims? No lives torn asunder? No funerals?
We have law after law being introduced from the smoking ban, through banning the ten-packs to hiding tobacco displays. Yet there are no talks about banning drink displays? No talks about selling beer in pint bottles only? No talk about banning “alcopops”?
I don’t want to see such laws brought in. There are other ways of tackling these things.
I just wonder why there is such a fanatical obsession with smokers?