As those of us who carefully read the literature suspected, the alcoholic beverage industry’s support for “research” was carefully crafted to demonstrate some benefit to alcohol consumption.  But when corrected for a number of factors (especially the so called “sick quitters”, people who stopped drinking because of underlying medical issues and ended up skewing the non-drinking population) a large meta-analysis by Zhao, Stockwell, Naomi at al in JAMA Network  shows that in fact, drinking turns out to have on average no real benefit at all. The fact that previous research tended to focus on cardiovascular health and ignored the increased risks of breast, esophageal, and head and neck cancers associated with alcohol consumption also contributed to the false sense of harmlessness or even”benefit.”  Thankfully, many health organizations now specifically state that one should NOT consume alcohol in an effort to improve health. The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics estimates that there are over 95,000 alcohol-related deaths annually in the U.S., and the WHO estimates that worldwide, 3 million people die annually due to the harmful use of alcohol, representing some 5.3% of all deaths. Anyone who has worked in Emergency Medicine has seen firsthand ethanol’s heavy societal toll.