Quebecers are the champions of moderation in Canada

The results of the latest Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey (CTADS 2013) have just been made public and some important data on drinking behaviour stands out: Quebec is the province where the greatest percentage of drinkers follow the low-risk drinking guidelines. “Whether we’re talking about mitigating the short-term or long-term risks of drinking by sticking to the guidelines – 2 drinks per day/10 per week for women, 3 drinks per day/15 per week for men – Quebecers are the champions of moderation in Canada,” said Hubert Sacy, Director General of Éduc’alcool.

In fact, Quebec is the only province where fewer than 20% of drinkers (19.7%) exceeded the recommended weekly limits. Saskatchewan and Ontario are next (20.3%), followed by Manitoba and Prince Edward Island (20.4%). Bringing up the rear are Newfoundland and Labrador (25.3%) and Alberta (23.4%).

Quebec does even better when it comes to daily recommendations for limiting the short-term risks of drinking. We are first again, with fewer than 14% of drinkers exceeding the low-risk drinking guidelines. Saskatchewan is second (14.6%), Ontario is third (14.6%) and Prince Edward Island is fourth (15.2%). Further down the list are Newfoundland and Labrador (20.3%), New Brunswick (16.9%), Alberta (16.8%) and Nova Scotia (16.7%).

Quebec is also the province where more people – by far – are familiar with the low-risk drinking guidelines. A very recent CROP poll commissioned by Éduc’alcool in April 2015, shows that 6 out of 10 Quebecers can spontaneously state the recommended daily limits, and 4 out of 10 know the weekly limits. With assistance, the numbers increase to 8 out of 10 and 7 out of 10, respectively.

“Obviously, the drinking behaviour results cannot be attributed solely to Éduc’alcool’s campaigns and efforts, although our organization has surely made a difference. But when it comes to familiarity with the guidelines, there is no doubt that credit must go to Éduc’alcool, which has been running systematic campaigns on the subject for four years,” said Hubert Sacy. He concluded: “We know that one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and we must never rest on our laurels. We view these results as a platform on which to keep building: the studies are less a compliment than a responsibility.”