Alcohol control efforts in comprehensive cancer control plans and alcohol use among adults in the USA

Alcohol Alcohol. 2014 Nov;49(6):661-7. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu064. Epub 2014 Oct 13.


Aims: To understand how US cancer control plans address alcohol use, an important but frequently overlooked cancer risk factor, and how many US adults are at risk.

Methods: We reviewed alcohol control efforts in 69 comprehensive cancer control plans in US states, tribes and jurisdictions. Using the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, we assessed the prevalence of current alcohol use among US adults and the proportion of these drinkers who exceeded guidelines for moderate drinking.

Results: Most comprehensive cancer control plans acknowledged alcohol use as a cancer risk factor but fewer than half included a goal, objective or strategy to address alcohol use. More than half of US adults reported current alcohol use in 2011, and two of three drinkers exceeded moderate drinking guidelines at least once in the past month. Many states that did not address alcohol use in comprehensive cancer control plans also had a high proportion of adults at risk.

Conclusion: Alcohol use is a common cancer risk factor in the USA, but alcohol control strategies are not commonly included in comprehensive cancer control plans. Supporting the implementation of evidence-based strategies to prevent the excessive use of alcohol is one tool the cancer control community can use to reduce the risk of cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcohol Drinking / prevention & control*
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System*
  • Binge Drinking / diagnosis
  • Binge Drinking / epidemiology
  • Binge Drinking / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult