The UK medical mag The Lancet has published a Swedish study on the relative harm caused by alcohol, tobbaco and high blood pressure and found:
An international team of scientists, writing in the Lancet, point out alcohol is a factor in about 60 different diseases. The researchers found 4% of the global burden of disease is attributable to alcohol, compared with 4.1% to tobacco and 4.4% to high blood pressure...The report looks at diseases including cancers of the mouth, liver and breast, heart disease and stroke, and cirrhosis in which alcohol can play a role. It also highlights the role of alcohol in car accidents, drownings, falls and poisonings. Alcohol is also linked to a proportion of self-inflicted injuries and murders.I find the last bit interesting as it points out the difference between alcohol and, say, ciggies. Statistically and across the population, they may have a similar effect. The drink, however, contributes its harm in individual contexts. Many of the risks of booze are reduced by not binge drinking, drinking lighter drinks (like, say, a tasty Guinness or well made mild) most of the time and staying away from mixing cars or anger with booze. Smoking has none of those contextual elements that ever makes it sensible. Normal drink consumption is a boon, tobacco always has a negative effect.