A recently proposed new guideline for alcohol consumption in Canada could change the way organizations and people look at alcohol.
That includes a switch in the amount that's safe to consume, with the new guidelines notably switching to a "less is better" approach.
The Ottawa-based Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction says the risk is negligible-to-low for two drinks per week, moderate for three-to-six drinks per week, and increasingly high beyond that.
As well, they've been calling for mandatory labeling on alcoholic beverages in a sharp shift from the previous guidelines, which were released in 2011.
Kathy Willerth, the Director of the SHA's Mental Health and Addictions, says that new, clearer messaging is always welcomed.
"I think there's going to be some really clear messaging coming out both at the end of the consultation process which is underway, and as products get developed that reflect the new information. The less is better message is quite clear in the document."
She says the idea of labeling alcohol pairs well with making sure that people have all the information they need.
"Labelling is an important part of lots of our products, so having an opportunity for a more informed choice fits in nicely with the premise of the guidelines, which is having the best information available for people to make choices on."
The new change in guidelines could also alter how doctors talk about alcohol with their patients
"I can well imagine that people who have no current difficulties with their alcohol consumption, it could be part of a prevention conversation, either that there's new guidance that is being launched in Canada that talks about the risks of alcohol."
Willerth says she's excited to have more information out to the public, especially for such a serious topic as cancer.
"What excites me about that is that there is some really good evidence behind that. Especially for things like cancer: cancer is a leading cause of death in Canada and is better understood all the time. Links between alcohol consumption and a number of types of cancer becomes the kind of information that I think the people in Saskatchewan and Canada want to know."
"I'm excited to have this kind of good, scientific information available for the population, so they can understand the impact of alcohol abuse on their own personal health and be able to make choices that would minimize the risks and harms to themselves."