Awareness of Alcohol as a Carcinogen and Support for Alcohol Control Policies
Alcohol use increases cancer risk, yet awareness of this association is low. Alcohol control policies have the potential to reduce alcohol-caused cancer morbidity and mortality. Research outside the U.S. has found awareness of the alcohol–cancer link to be associated with support for alcohol control policies. The purpose of this study is to estimate the prevalence of support for 3 communication-focused alcohol policies and examine how awareness of the alcohol–cancer link and alcohol use status are associated with policy support among U.S. residents.
Investigators analyzed data from the 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey 5 Cycle 4. Analyses were performed in 2021. The proportion of Americans who supported banning outdoor alcohol advertising and adding warning labels and alcohol use guidelines to alcohol containers was estimated. Weighted multivariable logistic regression was used to examine how awareness of the alcohol–cancer link and alcohol use status were associated with policy support.
Most Americans supported adding warning labels (65.1%) and alcohol use guidelines (63.9%), whereas only 34.4% supported banning outdoor alcohol advertising. Americans reporting that alcohol had no effect/decreased cancer risk had lower odds of support for advertising ban (OR=0.56), warning labels (OR=0.43), and guidelines (OR=0.46) than Americans aware of the alcohol–cancer link. Moreover, heavier alcohol users had lower odds of support for advertising ban (OR=0.41), warning labels (OR=0.59), and guidelines (OR=0.60) than those who did not use alcohol.
Awareness of the alcohol–cancer link was associated with policy support. Increasing public awareness of the alcohol–cancer link may increase support for alcohol control policies.