A study from IEA finds
"... estimates suggest that the net cost of alcohol to the state is minus £6.5 billion pounds, which is to say that drinkers subsidise non-drinkers to the order of £6.5 billion pounds a year. The government could halve all forms of alcohol duty and still receive more in tax than it spends dealing with alcohol-related problems."
I immediately noticed that the study does not consider the economic contribution alcohol makes in terms of job creation for instance (eg NZ's wine industry is purported worth in excess of $1 billion) but the paper later explains why:
We have also ignored all financial benefits except those that go directly to government, i.e. alcohol taxes. In line with Leontaridi’s methodology, we do not include benefits provided by the alcohol industry, such as job creation, corporation tax and income tax, on the basis that replacement goods, services and jobs would fill the void if alcohol did not exist. Since it is unclear whether substitute industries would lead to the government receiving more, less, or the same amount of revenue (aside from the loss
of alcohol taxes), we have ignored the economic contribution of the alcohol industry altogether.
But with the public-cost arguments against drinking (and smoking) removed, hectoring academics are exposed for what they are. Well-paid agents of Nanny State hellbent on micro-managing your life because they know best.