Kids These Days Have Very Different Opinions on Booze

More than half of millennials, Gen Z now view moderate drinking as harmful, per Gallup poll
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2023 1:24 PM CDT
Updated Aug 20, 2023 3:55 PM CDT
There's Been a Big Shift in Young Adults' Views on Alcohol
In this Feb. 12, 2021 photo, a customer drinks an alcohol-free cocktail at San Francisco's zero-proof bar Ocean Beach Cafe.   (AP Photo/Haven Daley)

A greater share of Americans than ever before believes drinking in moderation is unhealthy. In a Gallup poll released Thursday, 39% of 1,015 adults across the US surveyed during the month of July say moderate drinking—consuming one to two drinks per day—is bad for one's health, up from 28% when the question was last posed in 2018. The increase was largely driven by millennials and Generation Z—young Americans aged 18 to 34 who are fueling the growth of the emerging "mocktail" beverage sector, per Axios. A whopping 52% of these respondents said moderate drinking is unhealthy, up from 34% in 2018. The 18-point increase is "the biggest among any age group," per Axios. About 39% of adults aged 35 to 54 agree moderate drinking is unhealthy, up 13% from 2018.

There was "virtually no change" among adults 55 and older, 29% of whom believe moderate drinking is bad, according to Gallup. The poll, coming months after the World Health Organization warned that no amount of alcohol consumption is safe, shows fewer Americans now believe moderate drinking is beneficial or harmless. Half of Americans polled say moderate drinking makes no difference to one's health, down from 55% in 2018, while 10% say it's good for one's health, down from 16%, per the Hill. Some 41% of women say moderate drinking is harmful, compared to 35% of men, while 30% of respondents say alcohol consumption of any kind is "very harmful." Overall, Americans view alcohol as less harmful than tobacco but more harmful than marijuana. (More alcohol stories.)

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