For many of us, the New Year brings a longing for change. We question ourselves about our habits, our desires, our needs, and we set goals with the firm intention to do things differently. 

Thanks to our often stressful, demanding lives, the changes we are looking for are often focused on our health and the importance of taking care of ourselves. Becoming aware of your relationship with alcohol is a good example. This can mean taking the time to consider the context and the reasons for consuming.

At Éduc’alcool, our commitment is to provide support so that you can make informed choices, especially given the effects that your alcohol consumption could have upon your life.

Quebecers are generally responsible when it comes to alcohol

For more than 30 years, Éduc’alcool has been raising awareness and informing Quebecers about the impact of alcohol consumption. We have financed or distributed numerous scientific publications, some focused specifically on the links between alcohol and the risk of cancer, between alcohol and a healthy pregnancy or between alcohol and the heart. 

The sustained presence of Éduc’alcool over the years has produced results. Quebecers have a relationship with alcohol marked by moderation—they actually drink less than most Canadians.

According to Statistics Canada, those who consume alcohol in seven out of ten provinces, buy more litres of alcohol than Quebecers. The data also indicates that fewer Quebecers are driving after drinking. In 2019, in Canada, 204 people per 100,000 had their driver’s license suspended for driving while intoxicated. The number lowered to 149 per 100,000 in Quebec, while it climbed to 443 per 100,000 in British Columbia.

In addition, Quebecers are more aware of the links between alcohol and cancer. As indicated by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec, 83% of Quebecers know that consuming alcohol can cause certain cancers. Elsewhere in Canada and North America, only about one in three people are aware of this relationship. Of course, Éduc’alcool can’t take all the credit for this knowledge, but it certainly contributed.

A product unlike any other

Éduc’alcool does not set standards for low-risk drinking. However, these standards guide us in the development of our messages and are integrated into our campaigns.

In 2022, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction presented a project to update these standards. Éduc’alcool welcomed certain proposals such as labeling each bottle or can with the standard number of drinks it contains according to the alcohol level.

But we also asked for clarification on the scientific basis for these new standards and mentioned, among other things, the importance of the recommendations being presented on a daily rather than weekly basis. The process continues.

Based upon this perspective Éduc’alcool will reformulate certain prevention and awareness messages in the coming months. We are already focusing on certain concerns.

We note, for example, that 25% to 30% of Quebec adults drink more than moderately. Many drink out of habit, without asking themselves questions about the reasons or the circumstances that lead them to drink.

Éduc’alcool intends to continue to refocus its message in order to continue to help Quebecers, especially young people, to become aware of their relationship with alcohol, from the perspectives of education, wellbeing, and overall health.

Éduc’alcool is unique in Canada. Our organization receives no public funds; 100% of funding comes from the industry or from the sale of alcohol under an innovative model of self-regulation. And 85% of our funding goes directly to prevention and education initiatives.

In 2023, we will continue our mission to inform, equip, and raise awareness among Quebecers regarding alcohol consumption. We will be using up-to-date messages that are guided by science and based on individual and collective responsibility in the face of a product unlike any other.

Geneviève Desautels  
Director General of Éduc’alcool

Recent articles