There is more than empirical evidence that alcohol, habitually drunk to excess, poses serious health risks.
A scary dimension to the social malaise is the growing problem of alcohol abuse among teenagers - especially by pupils who even drink during school hours.
The latest government efforts to curb alcohol abuse should go a long way to encouraging tipplers to stop abusing booze and seek help.
The Department of Health will enforce regulations requiring labels on alcoholic beverages to carry messages "highlighting the negative effects of alcohol consumption".
This might seem small in the greater scheme of things, but a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.