Tellwut Finds 66% of Canadians Support Cancer Risk Warning Labels on Alcohol

During November 2017 residents of the Yukon were met with warning labels on bottles of alcohol. Warning labels on beer, liquor and wine aren’t new for Yukoners; since 1991 the government has required the Yukon Liquor Corporation to place labels on all its products warning of the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy, indicating that consumption can lead to health risks for the baby and mother. In addition to the health hazards for pregnant women, for decades it has been proven that high levels of alcohol consumption can lead to a number of diseases including cancer. In a Canadian first, people in the Yukon were seeing labels which advised consumers of the health risks and provided gender based guidelines on safe levels of alcohol consumption per day and week. These warning labels are not without merit, according to Statistics Canada and Yukon Health and Social Services, this area of the country has the highest alcohol sales per capita in Canada. It also has one of the highest cancer rates in Canada. (ref: CBC article http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yukon-liquor-warning-labels-industry-1.4479679) We asked Canadians of the Tellwut online survey panel how they felt about this development and if they would like to see it implemented in their community. More than half of Canadians said yes they are in favor of the warning label being displayed on all bottles of alcohol. As the age demographics increased, so did the desire for the health warning – overall 56% of Canadians would appreciate the warning and guidelines. One member said “people will drink regardless of their well being.” When compared by gender, 49% of Canadian males were in favor of the label, whereas that number increased by 10% when Canadian women were asked that same question. As of January 2018 the Yukon Liquor Corp has pulled labeling. It is no longer visible due to the backlash from large alcohol companies; a move only 4 short weeks after the start of the program. We asked the panel how they felt about this in a follow up December 2017 survey and found 66% of Canadian respondents were in favor of the labeling, up 10% from the November 2017 survey. Also in dramatic rise, almost 3 quarters of Canadian women, totaling at 70% felt that the warning that links cancer to high levels of alcohol consumption should be visible.

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