Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day 2017

by HCC

Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day 2017HCC and it’s partners PAHO, CARPHA and CARICOM present the 2nd Annual Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD). The theme this year is: Drink Less, Reduce, Cancer.

The harmful use of alcohol, along with tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, is recognized as one of four major common risk factors for NCDs; yet alcohol has received comparatively less attention than the other 3 risk factors. Alcohol contributes to cancer, liver and heart disease, mental illness, violence, accidents and injuries.

Alcohol consumption causes many cancers including: Mouth cancer, Pharyngeal cancer (upper throat), Oesophageal cancer (food pipe), Laryngeal cancer (voice box), Breast cancer, Bowel cancer, and Liver cancer[1]. Globally the harmful use of alcohol is linked to 3.3 million preventable deaths annually. Excessive drinking of alcohol is a major health risk, occurring particularly increasingly among Caribbean youth resulting in alcohol related violent deaths among the top 5 causes of death in the region and the commonest cause of death among young men. Young women are especially vulnerable; alcohol consumption disproportionately increases the risk of breast cancer between menarche and first birth[2].

Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day 2017

The objectives of the 2017 CARD are to:

  1. Increase public and policymaker awareness about the harmful effects of alcohol misuse.
  2. Increase public and policymaker awareness about the links between alcohol consumption and cancer risk.
  3. Call on Policy makers to implement specific policies to reduce alcohol consumption. In order to create environments in which drinking less is the easier option, the HCC calls on governments to implement supportive policies. The call to action this year is in line with the updated WHO Best Buy Interventions[3] to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
    1. Increase excise taxes on alcoholic beverages[4]
    2. Enact and enforce bans or comprehensive restrictions on exposure to alcohol advertising (across multiple types of media)[5]
    3. Enact and enforce restrictions on the physical availability of retailed alcohol (via reduced hours of sale)[6]

Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day 2017

Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day: A Series of Infographics – Alcohol and Cancer in Caribbean

View/download the PDF version here.

‘Alcohol and Cancer in the Caribbean’ a Webinar for Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) 2017

Global and regional experts including: Dr. Kevin Shield, Independent Scientist, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Head, WHO/PAHO Collaborating Centre, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Dr. Maristela Monteiro, Senior Advisor Alcohol and Substance Abuse, PAHO and Dr. Rohan Maharaj, HCC Alcohol Policy Advisor, discussed the harmful use of alcohol and its intersection with cancer risk, and explore the policy options to reduce the harmful use of alcohol among Caribbean people. 

Read more about the webinar and watch a recording of it here.

Video Messages in Support of Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day

Dr. Anselm Hennis, Director, Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health, PAHO

Dr. C. James Hospedales, Executive Director, CARPHA & HCC Special Advisor

Dr. Rohan Maharaj, HCC Alcohol Policy Advisor


[1] http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/alcohol-and-cancer/how-alcohol-causes-cancer
[2] McPherson, K., Steel, C. M., & Dixon, J. M. (2009). 5 Breast cancer—epidemiology, risk factors, and genetics. ABC of Breast Diseases, 69, 24
[3] Effective interventions with cost effectiveness analysis (CEA) ≤ I$100 per DALY averted in LMICs
[4] Requires an effective system for tax administration and should be combined with efforts to prevent tax avoidance and tax evasion
[5] Requires capacity for implementing and enforcing regulations and legislation
[6] Formal controls on sale need to be complemented by actions addressing illicit or informally produced alcohol


The 3rd Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) took place on November 29th 2018, The theme was: YOUTH: Let’s Talk About Alcohol.

CARD 2018

In the world of today, young people’s drinking habits differ from that of the generations before them. Despite many decades of battles by international organisations like the World Health Organisation, against the harmful use of alcohol, social barriers, particularly drinking cultures in the Caribbean population, continue to hamper efforts to reduce harmful consumption of alcohol. Recent trends suggest that young people drink less on average, but that they are more prone to heavy episodic or binge drinking when they do drink. Read more.


The 1st Caribbean Alcohol Reduction Day (CARD) took place on November 18th 2016 and the theme was: Misuse of alcohol is a bigger problem than you think.

1st Caribbean Alcohol Reduction DayIt was an initiative of the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC) aimed at sensitising the people of the Caribbean to the harmful effects of abuse of alcohol and encouraging them to “drink less and live better”. Read more.

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