We all want our families and communities to be healthy, safe and well and free from the harms caused by alcoholic products.
However, alcoholic products cause significant harm to Australians, with one person dying every 90 minutes and one person being hospitalised every three minutes because of alcohol. Alcohol causes more than 200 diseases and injuries and leads to preventable hospitalisations and deaths. Alcoholic products also cause harm to the broader community, with 10 million Australians harmed annually.
When it comes to the total health burden in Australia, alcohol is responsible for 4.9% of all cancers, 4.0% of all cardiovascular diseases, 14.9% of all injuries, and 19.2% of all chronic liver disease.
Alcohol is associated with, and can contribute to, mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. People with a mental health condition are more likely to drink alcohol at high risk levels. Mental health conditions and substance use disorders are prevalent in Australian society, together accounting for 12% of the burden of disease in Australia.
Concerningly, there are indicators that alcohol harm is increasing, with alcohol-induced deaths at the highest reported rate in 10 years and deaths from alcohol-related injuries having more than doubled over the past 10 years. Similarly, the number of Australians reaching out to alcohol treatment services is at its highest in a decade, with almost half (49%) of all alcohol and other drug treatment episodes involving alcohol as a drug of concern.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Governments across Australia can take action to ensure common sense measures are put in place so that families and communities are safe. Health warnings are one of these measures.
This national poll asked Australians about their support for health warnings on alcoholic products.
Key findings include:
- The majority (78.0%) of Australians support the introduction of health warnings on the labels of alcoholic products.
- Among Australians who supported the introduction of health warnings, a majority of people supported warnings about liver disease (91.2%), poor mental health (68.7%), alcohol poisoning (68.3%), heart disease (61.9%) and cancer (54.5%).