Health wins and losses. The remarkable success of anti-smoking campaigns among adult Australians shows up clearly in revised figures issued today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The reissued National Health Survey for 2007-2008 shows how the proportion of Australians aged 18 and over who are current daily smokers has fallen from 22.4% in 2001 to 18.9%.

The story with other lifestyle risk factors is nowhere near as good. More adults are consuming alcohol in a risky fashion, we are getting more sedentary and fewer of us are eating enough fruit and vegetables.

Drink section keeps getting larger. That there is an increased risk from alcohol consumption will come as no surprise to anyone who glances each morning at our Crikey Breakfast media wrap. Stories on the abuse of alcohol are featuring more and more prominently in the newspapers and on the web.

There were four this morning after six yesterday while Sunday’s solitary contribution was a truly remarkable one from the Sydney Sunday Telegraph noting that two of the city’s grandest private schools had been forced because of “drunken, abusive” behaviour to ban alcohol from sports matches. And you thought it was just the kids who went a bit silly after a bit of booze drinking!

Victorian tax payers might agree. As the accumulated losses from Melbourne’s Formula One Grand Prix get higher and higher there would surely be many Victorians who agreed with the Indian Sports Ministry that F1 is not a sport but a rort. The decision of the Indian bureaucrats is apparently making it a little difficult for Bernie Eccleston and his mates to get their hands on $US 36.5 million payable to them by the promoters of the Indian grand prix. The approval of the Sports Ministry is required before the money can be remitted but the Ministry maintains that as F1 is not a sport permission cannot be granted. The Times of India quotes a Ministry spokesman saying that “the proposed F1 race does not satisfy conditions which focus on human endeavour for excelling in competition with others, keeping in view the whole sports movement from Olympics downwards.” The first Indian Grand Prix was scheduled to be held next year but its fate is now in the balance.

Let them abstain. Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso will forever more rate near the top of any scale measuring courageous politicians. With just a couple of days to go before an election he is expected to lose Mr Aso chose to tell a group of students “If you don’t have money, you’d better not get married.” He had been asked a question about the difficulties which many young Japanese had in affording to raise a family. “It seems rather difficult to me for someone without means to win people’s respect,” said the blunt PM.