DoH partners with charities to warn of “unseen” dangers of alcohol

The Department of Health has joined forces with three leading charities to launch a £6m campaign to highlight how alcohol misuse can lead to a range of health problems not just liver disease.

The campaign, created by VCCP, uses the strapline “drinking causes damage you can’t see” and addresses what the DoH calls the “misguided” belief that is not just binge drinkers that are at risk from alcohol but also at-home drinkers that drink more than the NHS advises. It also explains how alcohol can lead to cancer, heart disease and strokes as well as liver disease.

The “stark” television, press and outdoor activity was developed by the DoH in association with Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Association.

Two different television executions, one featuring women drinking wine at home and another with men at the pub, both detail the potential dangers of drinking more than the recommended intake while press and outdoor ads also list the risks.

It follows research carried out by YouGov that shows more than half (55%) of English drinkers believe alcohol is damaging to health only if you regularly get drunk. The survey also found that that only 7% of drinkers knew about the link between alcohol and breast cancer, just 37% about the link to strokes and just over half (56 %) knew that it can cause heart disease.

This compared with 86% that were aware of the relationship between alcohol and liver disease.

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