Alcohol is killing 15 Australians a day and sending another 430 to hospital, according to a shocking new report that has prompted calls for tough health warning labels on alcohol.
The VicHealth and Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) report found the number of deaths caused by alcohol had increased 62 per cent in a decade.
Alcohol companies should be forced to warn consumers on their labels that alcohol causes cancer and heart disease in the same way cigarette packets do, the Foundation’s chief Michael Thorn says.
“The alcohol industry, like the tobacco industry before it, has long shown itself unwilling to acknowledge the extent of the harms it causes,” he said.
Cancer Council chief Ian Olver has argued there is a strong case for text warnings on alcohol products “ so people can make an informed choice about that extra drink”.
“Any potentially harmful product should carry a warning for the consumer. A box of matches does,” he says.
The report, conducted by Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre says alcohol use is involved as a causal or component factor in more than 200 diseases.
In 2007 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found sufficient evidence for a causal link between alcohol consumption and cancers of the oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon, rectum and breast cancer in females.
Earlier this month a study found regular drinkers had a 17 per cent increased risk of developing polyps in the colon, a precursor to bowel cancer when compared to non drinkers.