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International Beer Day: Some cold, bracing facts


Today is International Beer Day – a day when people can get together to share in their appreciation for beer. And let’s face it – Canadians love beer. It’s a perception ingrained in our culture, proudly displayed in advertisements, and supported by statistics. We also happen to be pretty good at brewing it too.

However, statistics also indicate that Canadians are exposed to higher levels of alcohol-related harm, thanks to consumption rates that are about 50% more than the global average. In fact, 1/3 of Ontarians experience harm due to someone else’s drinking.

So as we celebrate the summer, we hope you can help ensure that people are celebrating safely and responsibly. Share the facts, know your limits, check out some of these tools, and stay safe!


Scope of the issue

  • Canadians drink about 50% more than the global average. We also have higher levels of alcohol-related harm
  • About a quarter of Ontario drinkers engage in high-risk drinking at least once a year
  • Every year about a third of Ontarians experience harm due to someone else’s drinking

Availability and harm

  • Beer is the beverage most often implicated in drunk driving
  • When buying beer is more convenient, people drink more and alcohol-related harms increase
  • Making alcohol more available increases hazardous drinking + harms like injuries and domestic violence
  • Ontario in the red: Alcohol costs the province much more in health care and law enforcement than it makes in sales
  • Based on evidence from BC, the Ontario government’s plan to add 450 private alcohol outlets in Ontario could cause 100+ deaths per year

Mitigating harm

  • Effective alcohol policy puts health & safety first. Controlling availability is crucial to reducing harms e.g.Effective alcohol policies include:
    • Public control of the sale and distribution of alcohol
    • Socially responsible pricing of alcoholic beverages
    • Limits on the number of retail outlets and hours of sale

Available Resources



Header image courtesy of Wouter Verhelst on Flickr

One Comment Post a comment
  1. What a coincidence! I just wrote a blog post on alcohol. It’s such a controversial topic with so many forming such a dependent relationship with the substance and so many against alcohol full stop. If you get a chance have a little read of my post,
    I was very shocked that 7.5 million people are unaware of the health risks imposed with consumption!

    August 9, 2015

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