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Alcohol (Cancer)

Volume 130: debated on Monday 28 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in the light of the declaration by the International Agency for Research on Alcohol in October 1987, asserting a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer of the oral cavity, he has any plans to invoke his powers under section 11 of the Consumer Protection Act of 1987 to restrict or to bar the sale of alcoholic beverages; and if he will make a statement.

No. Heavy drinking of alcohol is only one of the risk factors associated with cancer of the oral cavity. There is no good evidence of any significantly increased risk from sensible drinking. The risks of oral cancer and of cancers of the gullet and upper digestive tract rise significantly for people who drink and smoke.