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Healthy Balance

Yes or No: Add Cancer Risk to Alcohol’s Health Warning Label?

health warning on alcohol

Have you read the fine print on a bottle of alcohol? Then you know it impairs your ability to drive, and for pregnant women, increases the risk of birth defects. What's missing from the government's health warning? Drinking alcohol increases your risk of getting cancer.

Most Americans Don't Know About the Cancer Risk

In fact, alcohol increases the risk for 7 different cancers, including breast, colon, and mouth cancer. The more you drink, the greater your risk.

Didn't know about the alcohol-cancer link? You're not alone. More than half of Americans don't know that alcohol ups cancer risk, a UVA Cancer Center researcher and colleagues found.

Most Americans Support Alcohol Warning Label

The researchers also found that many Americans support adding cancer-risk warning labels to alcohol.

Based on 3,865 responses from a survey mailed to a sample representing the U.S. population, the researchers found that:

“It is encouraging that a majority of U.S. adults are supportive of information about the risk of alcohol being provided to consumers,” said Kara P. Wiseman, PhD, MPH, of the School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences and UVA Cancer Center.

An important next step in this research? Figure out "what types of messages best convey information about alcohol’s harms as they relate to cancer," Wiseman says.

Survey Finds Support for Cancer Warnings on Alcohol

Less than half of Americans understand that alcohol consumption increases cancer risk, and a majority say they would support warning labels and drinking guidelines to increase awareness, a new survey finds.

Take Our Unscientific Poll

We thought the UVA researchers asked a great question. So we asked our UVA Health Twitter and Instagram followers the same thing. More than a whopping 90% gave a thumbs up to adding cancer risk to alcohol's warning label.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: cancer

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