NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Drink Like The French, Die Like The French

March 28, 2000

The world view that the French have fewer problems with alcohol than societies where per capita consumption is less is untrue, according to economist Pierre Kopp of the Sorbonne.

  • The French drink one and a half times more per capita than Americans, for instance, and their death rate from liver cirrhosis is more than one and one half times greater than in the United States.
  • Nearly 43,000 French people die each year from alcohol-related causes -- the proportional equivalent of 200,000 Americans, or double the number who die annually of alcohol-related causes in the U.S.
  • Kopp estimates the social costs of alcohol for France at $18.5 billion each year.

Source: Hilary Abramson (San Francisco Examiner), "Debate Pours Forth on Labels Linking Wine, Health," Dallas Morning News, March 26, 2000.


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