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It's time to put cancer warning labels on alcohol, experts say
ACH2015
2545 Posts

I saw this article and thought it worth sharing here. Food for thought so to speak. It's timely given the CCS Dry Feb campaign.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/alcohol-cancer-risk-warning-1.6715769

ACH2015

11 Replies
Brighty
8684 Posts

@ACH2015 thsnks for sharing. Just my opinion, and I could be wrong, i dont think those warning labels are going to stop people from drinking. Just look at cigarettes. It hasn't stopped people from smoking either. People are going to do what they're going to do. A lot of people think they are invincible and it wont happen to them. Thank you for sharing this . Knowledge is power.

ACH2015
2545 Posts

@Brighty

Many people have no clue that drinking alcohol can cause cancer, so the awareness will allow people to make better informed choices. Warning labels do have an effect on some peoples activities. As you suggest, knowledge is power.

Keep well

ACH2015

Trillium
2372 Posts

@ACH2015 - this should have been done already! Thanks for posting.

Yuliya
108 Posts

@ACH2015

I am a bit sceptical….for decades the experts were telling us about Mediterranean way of drinking and longevity….

I respectfully disagree with @Brighty on smoking. The numbers of smokers fell dramatically when govement began placing cancer warning labels on the package. ( Comparing with numbers let's say 50 years ago)


JamesT
444 Posts

@ACH2015
Great Article Andy,

so surprised that the last time they did a study was 11 years ago and such a drastic reduction in what is allowable, in this time.

I remember when I went through my cancer treatments my mom was talking with one of her friends who had cancer and when she went to see her doctor about the results, he was asking do you drink alcohol and if regular how much, and she said 1 - 2 drinks a day and he told her she would have to cut alcohol out completely while she is taking the treatments and she said she would not be willing to do that. He told her, then maybe this is not a priority for you.

I was surprised by his response, but reading this article it makes so much more sense now.

Thanks for sharing. I believe the public has their blinders on to the risks of alcohol.

Regards,

James

ACH2015
2545 Posts

@Yuliya

Hi Yuliya, I have never heard of the Mediterranean way of drinking, only the Mediterranean diet which is healthy eating, fish and vegetables. I believe the evidence is there to support the risks of cancer and alcohol, and like many things such as smoking was in the past, the risks have been downplayed for too long.

ACH2015

ACH2015
2545 Posts

@JamesT

Hi James, I agree that some of the public has their blinders on with alcohol consumption, and I am always happy to share.

Keep well

Andy

ACH2015

Cynthia Mac
4217 Posts

JamesT‍ - well hello! So good to hear from you! How are things out west?

I fall into the “warning labels are useless” category. For one, these are addictive substances, and once they have a hold on certain individuals all the warning labels in the world won’t have an affect (FTR, I’ve known several alcoholics and pack-a-day smokers in my life, some of whom did it til they died.) All they care about is being able to get their product as conveniently as possible, as cheaply as possible.

To that end, the province of Ontario (and other jurisdictions) did no drinker any favours when they opened up alcohol sales to small outlets across the province. As the niece of a man who died from booze and who lost a brother to it as well (and nearly a third son in the family), I saw this as a very bad sign. The last time I stopped by the general store in the village where I once lived to post a letter, I was in a lineup of 4 men, all buying beer at 2:30 p.m. on a Friday. The store didn’t even have a proper post office anymore - it had been “downsized” to make room for their liquor locker and cooler.

Again, relating to personal reference, when they put alcohol in the local stores, my Dad suddenly had it available a mile away from home, not 15 miles. When he was on chemo, he was expressly told not to drink, but there were other factors (grieving the loss of mom, new-found loneliness, etc.), and there were times when he did it anyway. He had two serious falls before I learned that not only had he done that, but that other relatives were BRINGING his favourite brand down from a distillery up north. Brighty‍ knows what it’s like to be with an alcoholic that doesn’t want help, and I wouldn’t even consider my dad to have been an alcoholic to begin with.

It’s hard to put the warning labels for tobacco on a pedestal because at the same time that was implemented, the products were also mandated to be put behind doors so the attractive packaging couldn’t be seen, and there were other restrictions, such as sponsoring sporting events, removing it from pharmacies, and advertising. And then vaping came along. And then pot shops. What health implications are going to come out about those 30 years from now?

I also am not completely on-side with the comment of “having blinders on.” When a horse wears blinders, it’s so he CANNOT see beyond a certain point. Even on my FB yesterday, my imbibing friends were lamenting the new guidelines. THEY know the risks, they are just choosing not to acknowledge them. Denial is a choice, not an ignorance of fact. I’ve known the risks of excessive drinking for decades, through media and the campaigns that started the “please drink responsibly” movement on all alcohol advertising in print and video media. Surely I’m not the only one from my generation who knows this.

Our province intentionally made alcohol more accessible, and now health organizations are saying let’s put labels on it because it’s bad. But that’s only one branch of a whole tree’s worth of issues. To me, going back to the horse analogies, the barn door has been opened, and that horse is long gone. A warning label on a bottle of tequila is like a band-aid on a freckle.

ACH2015
2545 Posts

@Cynthia Mac

Warning labels work for those that heed them. Warning labels give new / young drinkers something to think about before they become addicted to alcohol. I understand the addictive nature of both substances (alcohol and tobacco) as I previously used both. I believe there are people out there that have no idea about the cancer related risks of alcohol consumption because there are currently no warning labels on the products. If a person chooses to use products that are deemed dangerous to their health and you know the risks, so be it, but the labeling is geared toward prevention as well as awareness to current drinkers. Ignorance of risk should not be the reason for a person to continue to consume any dangerous products and suffer the consequences due to that ignorance.

ACH2015

Yuliya
108 Posts

@ACH2015

Mediterranean way of drinking goes hand in hand with Mediterranean diet. Greece, France, Israel, Italy etc. ….no dinner goes without glass of wine usually.

Back to the topic, I agree with you that to young people warning labels will give some food for thought. At the same time, I don't want that people who continue drinking as usual, despite clear labels, be stigmatized.

ACH2015
2545 Posts

@Yuliya

Some people may heed the new recommendations to restrict or stop drinking alcohol, and many may not. We can't stop what others are thinking, and in this case peer pressure, along with self reflection not to consume, or limit alcohol may very well end up saving lives. We can't deny medical evidence as it becomes available to us to steer us in new directions of what we consume and what we don't.

Keep well

ACH2015

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