Cancer Council NSW partners with nib Foundation to prevent alcohol-related cancers

Cancer Council NSW
Row of empty wine glasses.

Cancer Council NSW is pleased to be partnering with the nib Foundation to raise awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer, and support NSW adults aged 20-50 years to reduce their alcohol use.

We have not seen a dedicated health promotion campaign raising awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer in NSW. With the evidence of the link between alcohol and cancer strengthening, we know it is an important message that people needed to hear.

The partnership

Thanks to nib Foundation’s generous support of this project, $80,000 worth of funding has been allocated from the Foundation to make this project possible.

Each year, nib Foundation aims to provide up to $2 million in funding to support a range of projects, including the Health Smart Grant that Cancer Council NSW was awarded this year.

Partnering with a like-minded organisation like nib Foundation, means Cancer Council NSW can deliver on a project that will have a widespread impact on prevention, and support the health and wellbeing of people across NSW.

The project

There is strong evidence linking alcohol use to seven different types of cancer – including cancers of the mouth and throat, oesophagus, stomach, bowel, liver, kidney and breast (post menopause) – with alcohol use the cause of an estimated 3,500 cancer cases in Australia each year.

Yet Cancer Council NSW research shows that just over half of NSW adults (55%) are aware of the link between alcohol and cancer.

When it comes to cancer risk, there is no safe level of alcohol use. The more you drink, the greater your risk.

Latest figures suggest that around 33% of NSW adults, including 42% of men and 24% of women consumed more than 2 standard drinks of alcohol on a day when they drank alcohol. This puts them at increased risk of alcohol-related disease such as cancer.

Cancer Council reviewed the evidence and learned from Australian experts in delivering public awareness campaigns on alcohol to ensure we delivered the most effective campaign for the target audience, following best practice in health promotion and making the best use of the nib Foundation investment.

We found that the Alcohol. Think Again. ‘Spread’ campaign developed by the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia would achieve best practice and through rigorous evaluation was found to be effective on a similar target group.

We were pleased that not only did nib Foundation support our recommendation to deliver a campaign that’s imagery could be considered confronting, they awarded Cancer Council NSW an additional People’s Choice grant on top of the initial $40K grant award to maximise the reach and impact of the campaign.

The campaign

We are excited to launch our eight-week digital and social media led campaign in NSW in January 2022.

Our campaign will also direct people to download the NSW Ministry of Health Drinks Meter App to support them to monitor their drinking habits, track their drinks and get support to reduce their alcohol use.

We will evaluate the reach of the campaign, its impact on raising awareness of the link between alcohol and cancer, as well as whether it motivated people to download the Drinks Meter app and change attitudes and beliefs about reducing alcohol use.

*Cancer Council NSW acknowledges the development of the original Campaign Materials by the Mental Health Commission, Western Australia

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