For this podcast conversation we have invited four guests, Nason Maani, Blanca Lorente, Emil Juslin, and Juliet Namukasa, to discuss how the alcohol industry keeps people in the dark about alcohol and cancer and what we can do about it. And we explore insights and lessons from both science and community action in countries such as Sweden, Uganda, and Colombia to chart an ambitious way forward for alcohol policy action to support cancer prevention and increase public recognition of the magnitude of alcohol’s contribution to cancer cases and deaths.

Alcohol and cancer: How Communities can advance cancer prevention through awareness and policy action on alcohol

Season 3, Episode 1

For the first episode in our third season we discuss an action agenda to address the link between alcohol and cancer: How can communities advance cancer prevention through awareness and policy action on alcohol?

Cancer due to alcohol affects millions of people every year. There is a pressing need for more community action to increase recognition of and political action about the link between alcohol and cancer. The fact that the alcohol industry still manages to keep most people in the dark about the fact that their products cause seven different types of cancer underscores the importance of community action.

In 2023, we have seen some inspiring examples in different parts of the world, where communities take action, based on latest science, to advance to public and political discourse about alcohol and cancer.

This podcast episode was live streamed and recorded as World Cancer Day 2024 event.

The guests provide insights to expose how the alcohol industry in causing doubt about the carcinogenicity of their products. In this podcast episode, we share state of the art knowledge and best practices in how to address the alcohol-cancer link. The guest experts also share experiences and discuss inspiring examples of community action to tackle the alcohol-cancer link.

With this conversation we aim to underscore how communities have effectively championed for alcohol policy and driven political changes, aligning with the overarching principles of the “Be Loud for Change” campaign.

And this podcast episode facilitates community action for raising awareness, exposing the alcohol industry, and driving policy change for cancer prevention.

Our guests

Dr Nason Maani is a Lecturer in Inequalities and Global Health Policy at the University of Edinburgh’s Global Health Policy Unit. His research seeks to describe the mechanisms through which commercial actors affect health inequalities, knowledge and public discourse. He serves as an invited expert and technical consultant for the WHO global programme on economic and commercial determinants of health, and is the host of Money Power Health, a podcast series discussing the social and commercial forces that shape our health. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, and a 2019-2020 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow.

Follow Nason on Twitter: @spidermaani

Dr Blanca Llorente is Research Director at Fundacion Anaas in Colombia. She is an Economist from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, with decades of experience in teaching and research on topics related to economics, environment and health. She has also developed community interventions for the prevention of non-communicable diseases, including tobacco control and alcohol policy development.

Follow Blanca on Twitter: @andinomom

Emil Juslin is the former head of the EU office of IOGT-NTO, the largest social movement for alcohol prevention in Sweden. Emil has deep experience in both alcohol policy advocacy, community engagement, and exposing and counter-acting alcohol industry interference in Swedish and EU policy-making processes.

Follow Emil on Twitter: @EmilJuslin

Juliet Namukasa is the country director of LM International in Uganda and the chair of the Uganda Alcohol Policy Alliance. Juliet is also a member of the International Board of Movendi International. She has profound experience in poverty eradication work in Uganda, lifting up people and communities through advancing community-based and population-level policy solutions.

Follow Juliet on Twitter: @juliet_namukasa

Questions we discussed

  • How does the alcohol industry keep people in the dark about alcohol and cancer?
    • Overall: what are some of the efforts of the alcohol industry to influence the public discourse in their favor; and to influence the framing of alcohol problems and possible solutions regarding alcohol harm?
    • How are alcohol industry organisations misleading the public about alcohol and cancer? What are the three main strategies you have identified?
  • Community action example #1: Sweden
    • How big is the cancer burden due to alcohol in Sweden? What is the level of awareness among the public healthcare professionals and politicians?
    • How does the campaign in Sweden work to raise awareness about alcohol and cancer?
  • Community action example #2: Uganda
    • Is cancer an issue of concern in Uganda?
    • How are you using the evidence about alcohol and cancer in your advocacy work and what is the response you receive?
  • Community action example #3: Colombia
    • How big is the cancer burden due to alcohol in Colombia? What is the level of awareness among the public healthcare professionals and politicians?
    • How are you working to change this and what is the progress you’ve made so far?

Resources for the episode 

The Commercial Determinants of Health. Nason Maani (ed.) et al. Chapter 6: “The Role of Commercial Influences in Public Understanding of Harms, Causes, and Solutions

2017 Alcohol and Society Report: “Alcohol and Cancer

Original paper: “How alcohol industry organisations mislead the public about alcohol and cancer

Research article: “Manufacturing doubt: Assessing the effects of independent vs industry-sponsored messaging about the harms of fossil fuels, smoking, alcohol, and sugar sweetened beverages”

2023 Analysis: Growing recognition of the direct link between alcohol and cancer

The Lancet: “Denormalising alcohol industry activities in schools

The Lancet: “Trends in alcohol-specific deaths in the UK and industry responses

Feature paper: “Alcohol Industry CSR Organisations: What Can Their Twitter Activity Tell Us about Their Independence and Their Priorities? A Comparative Analysis “

Journal article: “Under the influence: system-level effects of alcohol industry-funded health information organizations”

The Swedish alcohol-cancer awareness campaign. Read more here.

More background information about alcohol and cancer in Uganda. Read more here.

In the Colombian context, there is a new code against cancer. Read more here.


Your feedback, questions, and suggestions for future topics and guests is most welcome. Please get in touch at:

You are most welcome to follow Movendi International and Maik Dünnbier on Twitter, too.

Listen to the episode

Listen to season 03, episode 01 of the Alcohol Issues Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

About The Alcohol Issues Podcast

The Alcohol Issues Podcast is an original production by Movendi International. It’s a show about current alcohol issues of global importance. Through in-depth conversations with policy makers, community leaders and scientists, we explore alcohol policy issues, discuss landmark scientific studies, and expose the alcohol industry.

This podcast episode is part of Movendi International’s work to support an evidence-based approach to protecting more people from alcohol harm.

Source Website: Keep Updated with Movendi International