A new Change 4 Life alcohol campaign, 'Don't let the drinks sneak up on you', has been launched - see the press release, TV advert and Change4Life alcohol pages including a new tool to check your drinking.
The campaign warns against drinking above lower risk guidelines, highlighting the potential impacts on long term health. A TV advert warns that regularly drinking just 2 large glasses of wine or 2 strong pints of lager a day can triple the risk of developing mouth cancer and double the risk of getting high blood pressure. A supporting leaflet [pdf] is also available to order.
A survey as part of the campaign revealed that most people are unaware of the serious illnesses caused by regularly drinking above the guidelines. For example 85% of people did not realise it increases the risk of developing breast cancer and 59% did not realise it increases the risk of mouth, throat and neck cancer (see press release for more). The campaign follows a recent call for recognition of the need for at least 2 alcohol-free days per week.
Secretary of State, Andrew Lansley said:
“It’s crucial we support people to know about how drinking too much poses risks to their health and how they can take control of their drinking. It can be easy to slip into the habit of having a few extra drinks each day, especially when drinking at home. But there can be serious health risks. Don't let drinking sneak up on you.”
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davis said:
"Drinking too much is a major public health issue. This campaign highlights how easy it can be to use a glass of wine or beer to unwind at the end of a busy day but these drinks stack up and can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cancer or liver disease.”
The campaign follows previous Government-led activity such as the alcohol effects, Know Your Limits (materials here) and support for areas to develop local social marketing activity. Existing alcohol communications are also run through NHS Choices and the industry funded Drinkaware trust.
The campaign had been previously announced as part of the Government's new alcohol strategy to be released later this year. But may health policy groups have expressed concern over an excessive focus on on 'nudge' or 'personal responsibility' approaches delivered in part through the Responsibility Deal. They warn that to significantly reduce alcohol misuse multi-strand action that includes addressing price, availability and marketing must also take place.