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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jan 7;17(2). pii: E398. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17020398.

Improving Knowledge that Alcohol Can Cause Cancer is Associated with Consumer Support for Alcohol Policies: Findings from a Real-World Alcohol Labelling Study.

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Public Health Ontario, Toronto, ON M5G 1V2, Canada.
Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8P 2Y2, Canada.
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.
Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P4, Canada.
Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA.
Canadian Centre for Substance Use and Addiction, Ottawa, ON K1P 5E7, Canada.


Knowledge that alcohol can cause cancer is low in Canada. Alcohol labels are one strategy for communicating alcohol-related harms, including cancer. Extending existing research observing an association between knowledge of the alcohol-cancer link and support for alcohol policies, this study examined whether increases in individual-level knowledge that alcohol is a carcinogen following an alcohol labelling intervention are associated with support for alcohol polices. Cancer warning labels were applied to alcohol containers at the intervention site, and the comparison site did not apply cancer labels. Pre-post surveys were conducted among liquor store patrons at both sites before and two-and six-months after the intervention was stopped due to alcohol industry interference. Limiting the data to participants that completed surveys both before and two-months after the cancer label stopped, logistic regression was used to examine the association between increases in knowledge and support for policies. Support for pricing and availability policies was low overall; however, increases in individual-level knowledge of the alcohol-cancer link was associated with higher levels of support for pricing policies, specifically, setting a minimum unit price per standard drink of alcohol (OR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.11-3.12). Improving knowledge that alcohol can cause cancer using labels may increase support for alcohol policies. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): RR2-10.2196/16320.


alcohol; alcohol policy; alcohol warning labels; cancer prevention

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