Alcohol: labels to reduce consumption?

Alcohol: é labels to reduce consumption? /></p>
<p> The CCSA study finds that any alcohol consumption is harmful to health. </p>
<p>In the same spirit as for tobacco, Éduc’alcool considers that displaying labels recalling the recommended limit of alcohol glasses per week could help the population to become more aware of their weekly consumption and, consequently, potentially reduce it. The Canadian Center on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) study published on Tuesday, January 17 suggests making this practice mandatory.</p>
<h3 id=More informed behaviors

“Among microbrewers, for example, there is a whole range of products with alcohol percentages ranging from 3% to 9%,” says the general manager of Éduc’alcool, Geneviève Desautels. It is difficult for the consumer to give themselves benchmarks. It would be simpler to indicate the number of glasses per bottle or can so that consumers make more informed choices.”

She would like to point out that the organization’s mission is to inform the public about based on Health Canada recommendations to help determine the tolerable level of risk when consuming alcohol. Éduc’alcool will focus its awareness on these new benchmarks.

“This new study changes the outlook. Unless one abstains from drinking alcohol entirely, there is always a health risk. It’s like when we drive: there are always risks when we get behind the wheel, but there are more when we drive fast, impaired or in dangerous conditions.”

Canada , future country the most severe in its recommendations?

Labeling is currently being debated in the scientific community since there is still no demonstrated effectiveness in the impact on consumption. However, Éduc’alcool will rely on the standards and regulations applied by the Canadian government if the latter imposes labeling on alcoholic products.

“I would be very surprised if Canada did not endorse the recommendations of the new study. We would become the most restrictive country in our low-risk consumption benchmarks, but after all, it would be strange for Educ’alcohol to raise public awareness with standards established elsewhere such as the United States or Australia rather than by Health Canada. Our organization will continue to raise awareness of the federal standards adopted by Quebec.”

Although mandatory alcohol risk labeling on alcohol products does not exist in Quebec, the Northwest Territories and Yukon have experimented with alcohol warning labels. alcohol use during pregnancy and/or other health risks as part of the Northern Territories Alcohol Labels Study scientific experiment which published its results in 2020.


Alcohol: alcohol labels to reduce consumption?

Self-adhesive labels applied in 2018 to bottles of alcohol products as part of the Northern Territories Alcohol Labels Study in the Yukon. Caption: Government of Yukon

“A glass of wine can no longer be said to be good for the heart”

Medical Specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine for the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec Réal Morin is of the opinion that labeling can help inform the population so that they consume less alcohol, as suggested by the CCSA’s study.

“This is the invitation that is made to everyone: in view of the scientific data on diseases and on the recognition of damage to health, we can no longer say that a glass of wine is good for the heart, for example. There is no longer any recognized health benefit with alcohol, even small amounts of alcohol are harmful. By seeing the numbers on the bottles, people will make their choices with a view to drinking less.”

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