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Expanding alcohol sales to Sundays offers no benefits

POSTED: December 3, 2011 1:00 a.m.

An observation on the recent elections, not regarding the few open seats and city elections, but the Sunday sales issue:

Alcohol is the No. 1 drug problem in the United States, and in much of the rest of the world. The few voters who turned out on Nov. 8 did not recognize the facts concerning the harm of alcoholic beverage.

Alcohol is closely linked with virtually every negative aspect of society: suicide, violent crime, birth defects, industrial accidents, domestic and sexual abuse, homelessness, death and disease. Alcohol is the top drug of abuse among today's teens. Society suffers a tremendous economic loss which follows the use of alcohol.

For every $1 collected in revenue from the alcohol industry, $8 is spent on alcohol-related problems. Alcohol negatively affects every organ of the body. Various cancers associated with drinking include cancers of the lip, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, stomach, colon, tongue, lung, pancreas and liver. Diseases such as chronic gastritis, hepatitis, hypertension and coronary heart disease are more predominate among drinkers. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the leading known cause of birth defects with accompanying mental retardation.

The "French Paradox" of years past attributed a low rate of heart disease of daily wine consumption. This has now been denied. More recent research has suggested that lowering of coronary heart disease risk may result from the effects of beverage ingredients other than the alcohol itself.

There is no consensus to say that alcohol consumption in moderation is productive. Alcoholism is the third leading cause of death in this country after heart disease and cancer. There is only one sure way of not becoming an alcoholic: never take the first drink.

Alcoholic beverage sales is a disaster Monday through Saturday, there was absolutely no, not one, valid reason to add Sunday to the schedule. Gov. Sonny Perdue stopped it. It is too bad that Gov. Nathan Deal didn't stop it.

I strongly suspect that many who voted in favor of this issue are hypocrites who are on the no tobacco bandwagon. Make a list of positive-negative regarding alcoholic beverage vs. tobacco. Alcohol loses, its destructive effects on society are much greater than tobacco. If forced into a choice I would rather be in a room full of smokers than a room full of drinkers. The drinkers are going to start becoming uninhibited and will use uncivil language and will act in an uncivil manner. Smoking doesn't cause this problem.

Lastly, the liberal stance of those who voted for this initiative has encouraged the people who would bring more societal problems into Georgia; that is, the various factions supporting additional forms of gambling.

Fred Chitwood
Flowery Branch



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