The amount of revenue the state of Maine makes on sales of alcohol is staggering. According to a report by the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, profit from liquor sales in the fiscal year 2015 that ended June 30 was $155.5 million.

Here are some other facts:

According to an article in The Washington Post, “Alcohol is killing Americans at a rate not seen in at least 35 years, according to new federal data. Last year, more than 30,700 Americans died from alcohol-induced causes, including alcohol poisoning and cirrhosis.

“In 2014, there were 9.6 deaths from these alcohol-induced causes per 100,000 people, an increase of 37 percent since 2002.”

The article went on to state that the tally of alcohol-induced fatalities “excludes deaths from drunk driving, other accidents and homicides committed under the influence of alcohol. If those numbers were included, the annual toll of deaths directly or indirectly caused by alcohol would be closer to 90,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

The article concluded with the fact that in 2014, “more people died from alcohol-induced causes (30,722) than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined (28,647), according to the CDC.”

People need to be reminded that when they are exposed to an advertisement for alcoholic beverages, they should pay attention to the message at the end — “Drink responsibly.”

Tobacco products are no longer allowed in mass advertising because tobacco products can kill people. Isn’t it time to rethink alcohol advertising?

Michael Tetreault, Lewiston

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