Alcohol warning labels may be in your local stores soon


You may have read recently the National Post article about warning labels now being put on alcohol in the Yukon, well it may be coming to Ontario too.

This is not for sure but Ontario is working on an alcohol strategy, have been for some time now apparently, and according to a public health nurse for Algoma, when asked if it is a good idea, she says “absolutely.”

Deborah Antonello is familiar with the strategy and sees a huge benefit to keeping the people informed about their alcohol consumption.

As of Monday, bottles of liquor, wine and other alcohol in the Yukon’s stores now include large stickers advising that drinking can cause breast and colon cancer, and indicating “safe” consumption levels.

“We know now that as little as a drink a day can lead to cancer,” she says. And she is not alone. In fact the Canadian Cancer Society and many others have come out recently with information that says just that.

The labeling she says helps the consumer to be “thinking about it in the moment.”

One of the large, red and yellow labels on bottles in the Yukon warns that “alcohol can cause cancer … including breast and colon cancers.” The other uses graphics to suggest women should have no more than two standard drinks a day and men three and should plan two or more non-drinking days a week to “reduce health risks.”

A third label is in the works that will explain what constitutes a standard drink: five ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of spirits.

Antonello says that “we are hoping that when people know this information, that they will make better lifestyle choices.”

That’s the point of what is going on in the Yukon and what Antonello says would be beneficial here: to know what is safe and how much.

She says this will help to build a “culture of moderation,” because “you are more positively impacted when you have awareness.”

Ontario’s alcohol strategy should be out soon but no clear timeline is set yet.

An internet survey of more than 2,000 Ontario residents, done recently, is suggesting that most supported having alcohol labels that explain the size of standard drinks and safer levels of drinking.

Many Canadians assume that drinking in moderation is harmless, a notion even suggesting small amounts of alcohol can reduce heart-health risk.

In a report earlier this month, however, the influential American Society of Clinical Oncology became the latest medical organization to warn of the often-overlooked dangers, saying that alcohol is directly linked to more than one in 20 cancers worldwide.


  1. Out of curiosity has the labels or pics on cigarette packs had much impact?.
    I hope that people recognize that too much alcohol can be dangerous but sadly I think most folks will become desensitized to these labels as well.
    Just my 2 cents..time will tell

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