HomeNewsCanada’s Strict New Alcohol Guidelines Have Beer Drinkers Sounding Off

Canada’s Strict New Alcohol Guidelines Have Beer Drinkers Sounding Off

by Craig Garrett
Canada's Strict New Alcohol Guidelines
Man drinking a pint of beer-stock photo

Canada has completely revamped its previous alcohol guidelines, and the updated version is markedly different. Canadian health experts have come together to drastically reduce the amount of alcohol consumption that is considered safe, CTV News reports. The update was released by the Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. This overhaul, which has been 11 years in the making, demonstrates a shift towards emphasizing zero drinks per week for both men and women; and further encourages authorities to add cancer warning labels to beer, wine, and spirits.

This guidance is a tremendous divergence from what was previously recommended – no more than 15 drinks for men and 10 drinks per week for women to reduce the chances of damaging their health in the long run.

According to the recently announced guidelines, drinking as few as three alcoholic beverages a week could lead to an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. Furthermore, consuming more than seven drinks per week raises one’s chances of experiencing heart disease or stroke; and with each additional drink comes heightened danger. This report is based on nearly 6,000 meticulously examined studies that establish connections between alcohol consumption and at least seven varieties of cancers.

Despite the new research, many people appear oblivious or are content to ignore the potential hazards. The alcohol guidelines suggest that having more than a couple of drinks a week is bad for your health has left many Canadian beer drinkers simply shrugging. “I have mixed feelings about that because I live with my grandparents, who are drinking wine every single day. They’re 97,” Wayne White, a London, Ontario resident told the CBC. “It just doesn’t make sense. I don’t agree with it,” White said. 

The New Canadian Alcohol Guidelines Have Some Beer Drinkers Balking

An anonymous patron outside of Toboggan Brewing Co., one of the city’s most popular establishments was even blunter. “We’re going to go over that [two-drink limit] right now if I actually listened to that sort of stuff,” he quipped. “I thought health was saying that one drink a day was good for you,” another nearby patron chimed in.

Drinking is such a part of the culture, many believe the new guidelines won’t make much of an impression. “I don’t think it would stop anyone anyway. My grandparents are definitely drinking more than two drinks a week, and they’re fine,” said university student Cheryl Mason. “Everything causes cancer nowadays.” 

According to Canada’s Centre for Substance Abuse, more than half of Canadians surpass the recommended drinking limits. 40% listed that they drank more than six drinks a week. Another 17% reported consuming three to six drinks each week.

In light of the “sober curious” movement and a heightened awareness of mindful drinking, new low-risk standards have been established. As such, many alcohol producers are now responding to this trend by offering alcoholic beverages with lower ABV or even completely without alcohol.