Since its founding in 1994, the non-profit, non-partisan Statistical Assessment Service — STATS — has become a much-valued resource on the use and abuse of science and statistics in the media. Our goals are to correct scientific misinformation in the media and in public policy resulting from bad science, politics, or a simple lack of information or knowledge; and to act as a resource for journalists and policy makers on major scientific issues and controversies.

This site gathers our specific research into issues and controversies surrounding alcohol consumption and abuse.

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Minimum Pricing, Maximum Confusion: Should Governments Fix The Price Of Booze?
As healthcare costs mug state and federal treasuries, the temptation to control deficits by trying controlling people’s behavior is understandable. Two birds: one policy. But understanding why these goals might be desirable is not the same as understanding whether such policies will actually work. Take the political battle to impose minimum alcohol pricing in Britain and the evidence being used to support it.

Will Minimum Pricing Reduce Alcohol Deaths?
Public health advocates are hailing a new Canadian study that claims minimum pricing could slash deaths from alcohol. But a close look at their statistical methods and data sourcing raise more questions than answers

half full half emptyUnderage Drinking
Underage drinking is a serious problem for our society. From reports in the media, one gets the impression that it is getting worse ever year and that even casual teenage drinking carries with it devastating implications for our youth, including increasing the alcoholism rate of those who drink early and even death. Do the statistics support these stories?

Alcohol and Advertising
Does alcohol advertising make teenagers more likely to drink? It may seem like a rhetorical question, but the answer is far from a slam dunk.

Light to Moderate Drinking During Pregnancy
Conflicting advice from health experts - so what do the studies really say?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Heavy drinking by mothers-to-be during pregnancy has been associated with birth defects and problematic behavior in children since antiquity. But what does science tell us about the risks of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome now?

Privatizing kills! Or does it?
STATS critiques a new study claiming that private liquor stores are hazardous to our health, while government liquor stores save lives.

Alcohol and Accidents: Can One Drink Kill?
A recently released study has attracted media attention by suggesting that no level of alcohol consumption is too low to produce serious negative effects behind the wheel; however, a closer look at the findings shows they may not be quite so newsworthy.

Rights go down the hatch
Task force pushing follies of Prohibition to save us from ourselves