New Hard-Hitting Alcohol Ads In The North East

18 November 2013, 01:00 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

North East drinkers are being warned that alcohol is in the same cancer causing category as tobacco smoke in new hard-hitting ads.

The campaign is part of Alcohol Awareness Week.

Balance, the North East Alcohol Office, is aiming to raise awareness of the links between alcohol and cancer - with alcohol responsible for around 12,500 cases of cancer each year in the UK.

There are seven types of cancer that are linked to alcohol; 
* Mouth cancer
* Pharyngeal cancer (upper throat)
* Oesophageal cancer (food pipe)
* Laryngeal cancer (voice box)
* Breast cancer
* Bowel cancer
* Liver cancer

And it isn't just heavy drinkers who are at risk - the more you drink, and the more often you drink, the greater the risk.

Studies have shown:
* You are three times more likely to develop cancers of the mouth and throat by drinking above the recommended limits.
* Regularly drinking just above the recommended guidelines increases the risk of getting breast cancer by around 20%.
* Alcohol is one of the main risk factors for liver cancer.

In the latest Balance survey carried out across the North East only 21% of people stated that alcohol greatly increases the risk of cancer - with 18% believing that alcohol doesn't increase the risk at all.

There were also low associations with alcohol and some cancer types.

When questioned over a third (34%) didn't associate alcohol with breast cancer, almost one in four (23%) people didn't associate alcohol with mouth and throat cancer and one in five (21%) didn't associate alcohol with bowel cancer.

The campaign will launch across TV screens from today and it is set to be one of the hardest-hitting regional health campaigns for alcohol to date.

You can see the film below

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, told Capital:
"We appreciate that this is quite an uncomfortable film to watch but evidence tells us that hard-hitting campaigns work and we want to highlight the harms that can be caused by drinking too much, too often.

Unlike tobacco very few people associate alcohol with cancer and we need these perceptions to change.

We need to continue to raise awareness of the potential health impacts caused by alcohol.

Alcohol is linked to more than 60 different medical conditions, including liver disease, cancer, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, raised blood pressure, stroke and dementia.

As the campaign says, alcohol is a Class 1 carcinogen, like tobacco smoke and asbestos - it shouldn't be treated like any other commodity."