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It's time to put warning labels on alcohol beverages, Canadian experts say

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It's time to put warning labels on alcohol beverages, Canadian experts say Empty It's time to put warning labels on alcohol beverages, Canadian experts say

Post by Seva Lamberdar Tue Jan 17, 2023 1:14 pm

(1)   CBC News (Ref. 1):

The pressure on the government to put cancer warning labels on alcohol containers is growing, as experts say the majority of Canadians don't know the risks that come with consuming even moderate amounts.

The latest catalyst is Canada's new Guidance on Alcohol and Health, which updates the 2011 Low Risk Drinking Guidelines. The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), which released its final report today, points out that  no amount of alcohol is safe and that consuming any more than two drinks a week is risky.

The CCSA says the new advice reflects thousands of studies in the last decade that link even small amounts of alcohol to several types of cancer.

The new recommendations lay out a continuum of risk. Three-to-six drinks a week increases the risk of developing certain cancers, including colorectal and breast cancer, and more than seven drinks a week also increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. The danger goes up with every additional drink.

"The last time we did the guidelines, it was in 2011," said Catherine Paradis, the interim associate director, research, for the CCSA, who co-chaired the scientific expert panel that came up with the new guidance. "In 10 years there's definitely been significant improvements in our understanding of mortality and morbidity associated with alcohol use. We have a much better understanding of the link between alcohol and cancer."

Paradis says the panel spent the last two years combing through nearly 6,000 peer-reviewed studies, including research that now confirms alcohol use as a risk factor for an increasing number of diseases including at least seven types of cancers.

Based on its findings, the CCSA is now calling for health warning labels that include the cancer risk on alcohol containers, and labels that inform people of how many standard drinks are in every container.

In Canada, a standard drink is 17.05 ml or 13.45 g of pure alcohol, which is equivalent to:  Bottle of beer or cider (12 oz / 341 ml @ 5%); Glass of wine (5 oz / 142 ml @ 12%); and Short glass of spirits (1.5 oz / 43 ml @ 40%).

(2) Global News (Ref. 2):

The harm to yourself and others is “moderate” — meaning a 1 in 100 risk of premature death — if you have three to six drinks weekly, CCSA said. As you increase the intake, the risks grow higher — more steeply for women than men above when they go over six drinks per week.

Pregnant people, or those who are trying to get pregnant, are advised to completely refrain from drinking as alcohol can cause birth defects and could have lifelong impacts on the fetus.
Meanwhile, if you are breastfeeding, drinking on occasion is acceptable but no alcohol use is “safest for the baby,” as it takes about two hours for the alcohol to leave the body and breastmilk after consumption.

In Canada, the legal drinking age is 19 years and older except for Quebec, Manitoba and Alberta where 18-year-olds are legally permitted to consume alcohol.

CCSA says that youth and young adults should “delay alcohol use for as long as possible” because the risk of adverse outcomes for them is greater compared to adults.


(1)  Ioanna Roumeliotis & Brenda Witmer, "It's time to put cancer warning labels on alcohol, experts say," CBC News, Jan. 17, 2023,

(2)  Saba Aziz, "Drinking too much? New guide on alcohol consumption outlines limits for Canadians," Global News, Jan. 17, 2023,
Seva Lamberdar
Seva Lamberdar

Posts : 6580
Join date : 2012-11-29

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