Northern Territories Alcohol Study to resume

After discussions with the researchers, national brand representatives and other stakeholders, the Government of Yukon is inviting researchers to resume the Northern Territories Alcohol Study.
The study will use two labels to educate consumers: one that shows a standard drink size, and a second that provides low-risk drinking guidelines. The health-warning label about cancer, introduced in November of last year, will no longer be part of the study.
Starting today, researchers will be conducting on-site surveys in the Northwest Territories and Yukon to assess the results gathered to date and to re-establish a baseline. The revised research plan includes connecting with participants who were recruited in 2017, as well as surveying customers at random for the next four to six weeks.
The study, led by Dr. Erin Hobin of Public Health Ontario with Dr. Timothy Stockwell and Kate Vallance of the University of Victoria’s Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, will conclude in June – with results to be released in 2019.

For almost three decades, Yukon has been labelling alcohol to warn the public of the risks associated with alcohol consumption. Resuming this study allows us to determine if this practice has been effective in informing Yukoners and shifting behaviours. We believe that this is part of an important conversation across the country, and hope that Health Canada and the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee will continue to lead that discussion.

Minister responsible for the Yukon Liquor Corporation John Streicker

Enhancing public awareness of the responsible use of alcohol is important to the health and safety of the people of B.C. and all Canadians. We support the research being undertaken in Yukon and look forward to the valuable evidence it may provide in informing policy and approaches for public education across Canada.

Attorney General of British Columbia David Eby

The plan for resuming the modified study is to test, in the real-world, the impact of two alcohol labels stating Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines for men and women, and the number of standard drinks in an alcohol container. This research aims to determine if providing consumers with simple, highly visible messages on labels at the point-of-purchase and the point-of-consumption can support more informed and safer alcohol use among Canadians who choose to drink.

Lead investigator of the Northern Territories Alcohol Study Dr. Erin Hobin

Quick facts 
  • The Yukon Liquor Corporation has applied labels on products since 1991. The corporation is developing a social marketing program that encourages a culture of moderate consumption, responsible servings, low-risk drinking guidelines, and informing the public about FASD and impaired driving.

  • The Northern Territories Alcohol Study is assessing local attitudes, opinions, and behaviours related to alcohol use and the effect of labels.

  • The Government of Yukon suspended the Northern Territories Alcohol Study on December 19, 2017, to evaluate the scope and messaging of the labels applied during the study.

  • The Yukon Liquor Corporation met with national brand owners to hear their concerns. It also met with researchers to ensure the study would be effective while respecting industry’s concerns with the cancer messaging.

Sunny Patch
Cabinet Communications
Patch Groenewegen
Yukon Liquor Corporation
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