Global News: Majority of Canadians won’t change drinking habits in light of new guidelines: poll

By Katie Dangerfield  Global News

Posted March 12, 2023 1:00 am

Retrieved from

Nearly three-quarters of Canadians say they aren’t changing their drinking habits despite recent national guidelines warning that more than two alcoholic drinks a week can increase risks of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

That’s according to a new Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News, which also found that more than half of the respondents believed the recommended number of drinks was so low that “it lacked credibility” and was nothing but “fear-mongering” tactics. This belief was higher among men (61 per cent) than women (53 per cent).

READ MORE: Drinking too much? New guide on alcohol consumption outlines limits for Canadians

The hesitation of many Canadians to change their alcohol consumption comes after the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) released a recommendation in January stating that even moderate drinking — anything more than two drinks a week — can put your health at risk.

The definition of a standard drink in Canada is equivalent to a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a shot glass of spirits or a bottle of cider.

There are some shifts in attitudes but more so with younger Canadians, explained Sean Simpson, senior vice-president with Ipsos Public Affairs.

“There is a big divide by age. It seems that younger Canadians are more concerned about the level of alcohol they consume. They’re more likely to be taking steps to reduce their consumption, more likely to believe that alcohol consumption is linked to both their physical and their mental health,” he said.

The poll found that younger Canadians are more likely to say they are considering Health Canada’s new drinking guidelines. For example, 36 per cent of respondents aged 18-34 said they consumed too much alcohol and noted its negative impact on their physical and mental health. Meanwhile, only five per cent of Canadians 55 years old and up mirrored that opinion.

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