Alcohol and tobacco abuse

(Ref. 605)
Problem Components
Policy issue area: Science
Policy issue: Health
Description: Alcohol and tobacco addiction remains a major health problem.
Symptoms: 18 million adults and 5 million adolescents have alcohol-related problems; there are still 50 million smokers; annually there are 350,000 tobacco-related deaths; alcoholism is the cause of 100,000 deaths directly, and another 100,000 indirectly.
Causes: Cultural influences; misleading advertising by manufacturers.
Cost of problem: Alcoholism costs over $100 billion per year in lost productivity and medical bills; comparable costs may be expected from tobacco smoking.
Solution Components
Resources: Medical profession; health care facilities; business and industry; Federal and state governments.
Goal: Gradually reduce alcohol and tobacco abuse.
Program area: Health development
Program-remedy: 1. Continue and enlarge education programs to prevent addictions
2. Coordinate and strengthen Federal, state and local governments efforts with the private and volunteer sector
3. Increase Federal excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol, to discourage use and help to pay for treatment, and help to reduce the deficit.
Program-prevent: Modify cultural influences and social alienation leading to addictions of various types.
Cost of program: -
Beneficiaries: Individual addicts and their families; business and industry.

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