Cancer Council WA is urging people across the State to keep their drinking in check over the Easter break as WA bunkers down for a four-day holiday at home.
Cancer Council WA Alcohol Program Manager, Julia Stafford, said while it could be tempting to turn to alcohol to pass the time, reducing the amount you drink during the Easter holidays will not only help to keep you healthy and safe now, it will also help you reduce your risk of cancers and other health problems later.
“We acknowledge that this is a difficult time for many and it is not surprising people are looking for ways to reduce stress and fill in time,” Ms Stafford said.
“However, drinking can actually make you feel more anxious as well as affect your sleep and your ability to fight disease.
“By reducing your drinking you’ll also be helping to prevent extra burdens on already-stretched health services.”
Ms Stafford said recent data by Commbank indicated a 34 per cent increase in spending on alcohol and 86 per cent on alcohol goods (bottle shops) when take-away limits on alcohol were put in place, confirming anecdotes that households have been stockpiling beer, wines and spirits.
Data available since then has continued to show higher spending at bottle shops compared to the same time a year earlier.
“We commend the WA Government for introducing limits on takeaway alcohol to prevent alcohol-related problems placing additional burdens on our health system and police service,” she said.
“We encourage the State Government to keep these restrictions in place at least until the pandemic is over.”
Ms Stafford said there had also been a significant increase in aggressive marketing from bottle shops and liquor home delivery services to ensure ‘people never run out’.
“We’re seeing ads on social media from some liquor retailers promoting stockpiling of alcohol and heavy drinking while in quarantine at home. These ads couldn’t be further from responsible advertising,” she said.
“We are also seeing a proliferation of ads from liquor retailers offering home delivery services capitalising on people staying at home by heavily promoting ‘contactless’ delivery and emphasising that drinkers need never run out of their chosen alcohol products.
“From a health perspective this is unhelpful – the more alcohol you have in the house, the more likely you are to drink.
“Cancer Council WA has major concerns about the short-term and long-term impacts of drinking, particularly as now, more than ever, it’s a good time for people to take care of their health.”