Hartlepool health chief backs calls for drinkers to have ‘dry days’

A health boss in Hartlepool has backed calls for people to have ‘dry days’ to help cut alcohol consumption - which is putting them at risk from a range of different cancers.

Balance - the North East alcohol office - has launched as a hard hitting campaign urging people to reduce their risks by taking more days off drinking for the sake of their health, family and loved ones.

Paul Edmondson-Jones

Paul Edmondson-Jones

Sales figures show enough alcohol is sold for North East drinkers to consume 22.3 units per week on average[i] compared to the Chief Medical Officer guidance to drink no more than 14 units.

Alcohol causes nearly a third of mouth and throat cancers, over a fifth of oesophageal cancers and over one in ten bowel cancers. The North East also has higher rates of hospital admissions for alcohol related cancers compared to the national average:

Interim director of public health for Hartlepool Borough Council, Paul Edmondson-Jones said: “We are encouraging people in Hartlepool who are concerned about their drinking to consider ways to cut down.

“Taking more days off is a really easy and practical way which can also mean feeling healthier, losing weight and saving money.

“As a nation we are drinking far too much. This not only stores up health problems for the future for families but means people are being diagnosed with alcohol related diseases at a younger age.

“Children want their parents to be around and be fit and healthy when they grow up.”

Colin Shevills, Director of Balance, said: “One of the problems is we have very low awareness of the risks. Many people think they are drinking moderately, but are actually in the higher risk category.”

People are being encouraged to visit www.reducemyrisk.tv to participate in a short quiz about their drinking habits and download free advice.