A HARD-HITTING new campaign will warn drinkers that their boozing is putting them at risk of cancer.
Campaigners from the region’s alcohol awareness group Balance said perceptions need to change at a time when drinking is responsible for 12,500 cancers a year.
They say most people didn’t even know that drinking can cause seven types of cancer affecting the mouth, upper throat, voice box, food pipe, breasts, bowels and liver.
The campaign will launch across TV screens from today and it is set to be one of the hardest-hitting yet.
It will show a man taking a bottle of lager from a fridge. As he drinks it, a cancerous tumour is seen sliding towards his mouth.
Balance director Colin Shevills said: “We appreciate that this is quite an uncomfortable film to watch but evidence tells us that hard-hitting campaigns work and we want to highlight the harms that can be caused by drinking too much, too often.
Unlike tobacco very few people associate alcohol with cancer and we need these perceptions to change.
“We need to continue to raise awareness of the potential health impacts caused by alcohol. Alcohol is linked to more than 60 different medical conditions, including liver disease, cancer, osteoporosis, stomach ulcers, raised blood pressure, stroke and dementia.”
Sarah Williams, health information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “Hard hitting, memorable campaigns like this help to highlight the risks of drinking alcohol.
“It isn’t just heavy drinking that increases the risk, but the more you cut down on alcohol, the better – try making every other drink something soft, or making a pact on alcohol-free days with your partner and friends.”
Balance is the North East of England’s alcohol office, the first of its kind in the UK.
It aims to encourage people in the North East to reduce how much alcohol they drink so they can live healthier lives in safer communities.