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Over 50% of (hic!) Total Sales

Problem Drinkers Vital to Booze Industry

The U.S. alcoholic beverage industry is so dependent on Americans with drinking problems that if the heaviest drinkers, the top 10 percent in consumption, reduced their intake to average amounts, it would shrink total alcohol sales by 60 percent. This was one finding of a recent analysis of data from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. Other statistics: the top 10 percent of drinkers slug down an average of 74 drinks per week, thereby accounting for over half our annual national alcohol intake; 30 percent of Americans drink no alcohol at all, while another 30 percent have one drink a week or less; those who take just one glass of wine each evening rank in the top 30 percent for per-capita alcohol intake; those who take two are in the top 20 percent.

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