Through a new social responsibility campaign, the Province is promoting moderation and encouraging responsible alcohol consumption.
To help get the word out, all of B.C.’s licensed establishments and liquor retailers are legally required to display these materials in plain view of their clientele.
Education, awareness, and timely information are important tools that help encourage British Columbians to make smart, healthy choices. The new advertising campaign emphasizes moderation when drinking, and builds on the success of the Province’s previous campaign encouraging parents to talk openly with their kids in ways that promote resiliency and confidence, and encourage safer drinking. Posters and tent cards will be displayed at every licensed establishment and liquor retailer throughout B.C., in addition to new information and educational resources available to the public at: AlcoholSenseBC.ca
The Province first provided mandatory social responsibility materials to every establishment in B.C. selling liquor in April 2015. To strike a balance between educating the public about the health risks associated with alcohol abuse and reinforcing positive social norms like moderation, the Province worked in collaboration with an advisory committee with representatives from the Centre for Addictions Research of BC, the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Health, the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, Liquor Distribution Branch, the hospitality industry, and liquor retailers, to develop the new materials.
Although most British Columbians practice moderation while drinking alcohol, those who don’t risk causing temporary or permanent damage to their bodies including the liver, stomach, esophagus, intestines, and heart. Binge-drinking is often associated with adverse experiences like vomiting and dehydration, and may increase aggression and violence. Adverse impacts, including dependence, can occur at relatively low levels of consumption. That is why this new campaign promotes AlcoholSenseBC.ca which provides information about Canada’s lower risk drinking guidelines and helpful tips for making healthy choices.
Public health and safety are guiding principles as the Province continues to modernize liquor laws. The mandatory display of social responsibility materials builds on other policies and programs the Province has in place or expanded to protect the health and safety of British Columbians including:
- every establishment in B.C. licensed to sell or serve alcohol is subject to full inspections from the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch to ensure they are in compliance with all public health and safety regulations;
- anyone serving liquor in B.C. is legally required to obtain Serving It Right certification to ensure they understand their legal responsibilities when selling or serving liquor;
- implementing minimum price regulations for all licensed establishments and liquor retailers to ensure that liquor is sold responsibly; and
- using The Minors as Agents Program to help ensure minors cannot access alcohol.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –
“Protecting the health and safety of British Columbians is one of the top priorities of our government. Through this new campaign focused on moderation, we are taking an active role in educating and informing British Columbians about the risks related to alcohol.”
Terry Lake, Minister of Health –
“It’s important that we continue to provide impactful information about the risks of drinking and promote healthy lifestyles for our citizens. This campaign acknowledges that having a drink can be fun and relaxing but reminds people that overconsuming liquor is a choice that can be detrimental to your health. ”
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Review –
“Increasing public education about the harmful effects of alcohol abuse is a key part of modernizing B.C.’s liquor laws. Balancing consumer convenience and reduced red tape for businesses while providing British Columbians with the information and incentives they need to make healthy and responsible choices benefits individuals, businesses, and our society at large.”
Perry Kendall, provincial health officer –
“Alcohol is one of our most socially accepted psychoactive substances. Increasingly we are aware of the harms that can accompany inappropriate use. While I am not suggesting that people refrain from ever imbibing, following the low risk drinking guidelines can help people avoid many debilitating health problems.”
Tim Stockwell, director of the Centre for Addictions Research BC –
“The risks of health and safety problems from drinking are directly related to the amount consumed, both on a single drinking occasion for alcohol-related injuries and in the long term for alcohol-related diseases. It is important that consumers are advised of these risks and are aware of the national low risk drinking guidelines.”
Ian Tostensen, president and CEO of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association –
“Our industry worked in partnership with the provincial government to develop materials and messaging that we believe will effectively provide important health and drinking guidelines to our clientele while still supporting B.C.’s healthy, vital, and vibrant hospitality industry."
Poma Dhaliwal, president of the Alliance for Beverage Licensees –
“The collaborative nature of this campaign has resulted in materials that our membership will proudly display prominently in their establishments. The promotion of responsible drinking in the form of moderation is in the best interest of both the bars and restaurants and their clients.”
- Ways to achieve moderation include drinking slowly, having a glass of water between alcoholic drinks, and snacking while drinking.
- AlcoholSenseBC.ca updated its content to include information about Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines and tips for avoiding health risks associated with alcohol consumption.
- The budget for this round of social responsibility materials was approximately $58,000 for design, printing, and distribution.
- Some of the health risks associated with binge-drinking include weakening of the heart, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, chronic gastric reflux resulting in ulcers, cirrhosis of the liver, and pancreatic disease.
For resources and further information about moderation and other alcohol-related health topics: www.AlcoholSenseBC.ca