September 1, 2022 – Warning posters have been triggered alcoholic Two US researchers said the drinks need to be updated to detail the potential harm in order to make them more effective.
The current poster has not changed for 30 years and focuses only on risks during pregnancy and with the operation of machinery, with a vague statement that alcohol “It may cause health problems.”
This is “so underestimated that it is almost misleading,” the researchers say.
Science has advanced, and there is now a constant Evidence of damage. Alcohol has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as a group 1 carcinogen and has been linked to a group Increased risk of many types of cancer. It has also been linked to a wide range of diseases, from liver disease to pancreatitis For some Types of heart disease.
However, they point out, the public is often unaware of the most serious health risks associated with drinking.
“We believe Americans deserve the opportunity to make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption,” said Anna H. Gromon, PhD, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and Marisa J. Hall, PhD, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
“The design and adoption of new alcohol warning labels should be a research and policy priority,” they said.
The researchers presented their arguments in The New England Journal of Medicine.
They noted that “alcohol consumption and associated harms have reached a crisis point in the United States.”
It now accounts for more than 140,000 deaths annually in the United States, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the problem, with a 25% increase in alcohol-related deaths reported in 2020.
They suggest that new, well-designed warning labels on alcohol are a logical way to give consumers information and reduce alcohol-related harm.
What makes a good warning label?
The researchers say warning labels are most effective when they are displayed prominently, when they include images of some kind, and when the content is rotated to avoid any one message becoming “stale”. This worked well for cigarette packs, as this type of warning increased smoking cessation rates, compared to the small text warning signs next to the pack.
There is also some evidence that this type of label can work with alcohol. They noted that when large warnings about cancer risks that included pictures were temporarily added to the front of alcohol containers in some stores in Yukon, Canada, alcohol sales fell from 6% to 10%.
But pressure from the alcohol industry led to Changes in the Yukon projectAnd while the public health warning remains, the label for increased cancer risk has been removed.
Researchers say the alcohol industry is standing in the way of efforts to educate the public. The industry spends more than $1 billion annually to market its products in the United States
The authors caution that if the government does not intervene, the alcohol industry will have little reason to share the risks.
Some companies even link their products to health campaigns, such as selling pink-ribbon alcoholic beverages in October to boost efforts to raise money for breast cancer research, despite overwhelming evidence linking alcohol to an increased risk of breast cancer.
Congress call for new designations
This is not the first call to change alcohol-related warning labels.
Last year, several Medical groups petition Congress For a new cancer warning label for all alcoholic beverages.
The petition was signed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, along with the American Public Health Association, the American Consumer Federation, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. , Alcohol Justice, and the US Alcohol Policy Alliance.
They demand a label that says: “Warning: According to the Surgeon General, the consumption of alcoholic beverages can cause cancer, including breast and colon cancer.”
That petition is still pending, said Melissa Maiten Sheppard, a policy expert at the American Institute for Cancer Research.
In addition, the institute is “working on advocating for the addition of a cancer warning label to alcoholic beverages through multiple channels,” she said. “Given the strong evidence linking alcohol use to at least six types of cancer – and low awareness of the relationship between alcohol and cancer – there is an enormous need to educate the public about alcohol and cancer risks.”
Noel LoConte, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and lead author of ASCO Statement on Alcohol and Cancer RiskHe stressed that there is no doubt that alcohol is a carcinogen that causes about 5% of cancers globally, and that its use increased during the pandemic.
“Initiatives that raise awareness about this issue can help generate more public support for policies that limit access to alcohol and thus reduce the number of alcohol-related cancers,” she said. “In the ASCO Statement on Alcohol and Cancer, we recommend several key strategies to reduce high-risk alcohol consumption, including restricting youth access to alcohol, giving municipalities more control over the density of alcohol outlets and points of sale, and increasing alcohol taxes.”
But she was also subjected to a small criticism for one point in New England Journal of Medicine Article – commodity. Shows a typical chart that lists stomach cancer as alcohol-induced.
“But as of today, stomach cancer is not at IARC [International Agency for Research on Cancer] List of alcohol-related cancers. “I think this brings to mind one important point, which is that these warning signs should contain scientifically proven facts.”