20 Sep, 2022
Alcohol is a known human carcinogen for humans that increases the risk of oral, pharyngeal, laryngeal, oesophageal, liver, colorectal and (female) breast cancers.1, 2 There is also evidence that risk of developing these cancers increases with higher levels of alcohol consumption (i.e., that there is a dose-response relationship).1, 3, 4 Notably, even small amounts of alcohol can increase cancer risk. In addition, the joint effect of alcohol consumption and behavioural risk factors such as smoking and poor dietary practices further increases the risk of cancer.
Apparent alcohol consumption in Australia peaked in 1974-76
Apparent alcohol consumption peaked in Australia in 1974-76 with an annual per capita consumption of 13.1 litres. In 2017-18, apparent annual per capita consumption was around 27.5% lower than in 1974-75 (at 9.75 litres per capita).
Since 2006-07, apparent alcohol consumption has decreased overall
An overall decrease in apparent alcohol consumption was observed from 2006-07 (10.8 litres per capita) to 2017-18 (9.5 litres per capita).
Australia’s annual alcohol consumption is relatively high compared to other developed countries
The most recent data by country for 18 selected developed countries, indicated that annual alcohol consumption was in the range of 6 to 12 litres per capita. Australian annual alcohol consumption was fifth highest among the selected countries at 9.5 litres capita.