(The Hill) — A record-high percentage of Americans say drinking in moderation is bad for one’s health, according to a new poll.
The Gallup poll, released on Thursday, revealed 39 percent of respondents said consuming one or two drinks a day is bad for one’s health — an increase of 11 points since the survey was last conducted in 2018.
The sharp rise also marks a departure from the stagnant levels seen since the survey was first conducted. In 2001, 27 percent of respondents said moderate drinking was bad for your health. While that level dipped to 22 percent in 2005, it has hovered at about 25-28 percent in the years since.
Fewer Americans say moderate drinking is good for your health, at 10 percent in 2023, compared to 16 percent in 2018. Half of the respondents in the new poll say moderate drinking makes no difference to one’s health, a 5-point drop from 55 percent in 2018.
The rise is attributed largely to young adults, aged 18-34, who say moderate drinking is bad, at 52 percent in 2023, an 18-point drop from the 34 percent who answered similarly in 2018.
Among middle-aged adults 35-54 years old, 39 percent say moderate drinking is bad, a 13-point increase from the 26 percent in 2018. Among older adults there is “virtually no change,” according to Gallup, with 29 percent saying it’s bad in 2023, compared to 26 percent in 2018.
The same survey showed most Americans viewed alcohol as less harmful than tobacco and more harmful than marijuana. In the survey, 76 percent say cigarettes are “very harmful”; 54 percent say e-cigarettes, or “vaping” is “very harmful”; 39 percent say chewing tobacco is “very harmful”; 30 percent say alcohol is “very harmful” and 23 percent say marijuana is “very harmful.”
The survey included 1,015 adults living in the U.S. and was conducted by telephone interview from July 3-27. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.