Everyone knows that “secondhand smoke” is harmful, but do you know secondhand wine?

by | Aug 28, 2019 | 0 comments

It’s easy to imagine how second-hand smoke can impact an innocent bystander – most of us have probably inhaled the smoke from someone else’s tobacco without wanting to.

But it’s not the only habit that can affect others; ‘second-hand drinking’ is a thing, too.

It’s not quite as literal, as it doesn’t mean the alcohol you drink will end up in the bloodstream of another.

But over the years it’s become increasingly clear that second-hand drinking is a significant public health issue.

Now, a study in the United States has placed its effects on par with second-hand smoking.

Using US national survey data from 2015, research has found that each year, one in five American adults – which is an estimated 53 million people – experience harm because of someone else’s drinking.

These harms include things like threats or harassment, which was the most commonly cited, as well as physical aggression, drunk driving, and even financial or family problems.

What’s more, the authors found that the burden of second-hand drinking was not experienced equally.

Young people under the age of 25 were mostly on the receiving end, and in the year previous to the survey, some 21 percent of women and 23 percent of men said they experienced harm because of someone else’s alcohol use.

For men, this harm was usually from a stranger and resulted in ruined property, vandalism, or physical aggression.

But for women, the drinker tended to be a family member, causing financial issues or problems in the house.