Historically, alcoholic beverages have been regulated and sold differently from other products. And spirits have been regulated differently than beer and wine—for good reason. William Kerr, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, put it this way: “Spirits having a higher concentration of alcohol than other beverages, present greater public health risk than other forms of alcohol.” As a researcher in the field for many years, he has a great deal of data to back this up.
In addition to the higher alcohol by volume causing more intoxication per ounce consumed, spirits have been linked to increased risk for illness and disease compared to other types of alcohol. Higher risk for certain cancers has been linked to spirits. Studies in Spain and Puerto Rico found that oral cancers occurred more often in drinkers of spirits.
A number of medical journals have published studies reporting that other diseases and illnesses have been linked to higher spirit consumption. These include cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.