While a war has been declared on sugar, no such pressure is being put on alcohol. The voices in favour of minimum pricing, which has been rejected by the UK government, largely belong to health groups, the equivalent of the friend who doesn't drink - you respect their views and they are probably right, but you're having too much fun drinking to listen.
I've saved a small fortune, can drive myself everywhere, I remember everything, have no embarrassing regrets, I have no idea what a hangover is, feel fresh as fuck every morning, have never been sick unnecessarily, never lost a phone/bag/purse/nasal septum, never wasted police or ambulance's time and never gurned the face of a stranger.
So is drinking too much alcohol simply a rite of passage for our young people? Think about it, when a child learns to walk how many times do they fall over before they figure out how to use their legs? Whether it be right or wrong alcohol is a part of life in the UK and people sometimes have to get their tolerance wrong before they get it right.
By our mid-to-late teens most of my friends and classmates at school were regulars on the local pubs and clubs circuit. By the time we understood the long-term ill-effects of alcohol it had become a deeply-ingrained habit, a part of who we were. The demon drink was like fast-growing ivy, coiling it's suffocating fronds around our vulnerable minds.
I honestly believe that alcohol-related memory problems are hugely under-reported and mistaken for Alzheimer's disease. Ten years ago I would have been treating no more than three people at any one time for alcohol-related brain damage. Now there are at least 10 patients with that in my clinical service.
According to a survey, 79% of people said they would welcome measures to curb alcohol intake on flights while 11% said they would be happy with a total ban. But banning alcohol on a flight isn't the solution because the problem is in fact much, much bigger than our inability to say no to free drinks on a plane.