Every 5 years Educ'alcool conducts a major survey on drinking
in Quebec strives to present an accurate picture of the current
relationship between Quebecers and alcohol. The survey also provides
feedback on what has been accomplished by Educalcool and also
where new efforts need to be focused.
Alcohol is assuming an increasingly "normal" place in Quebec Society,
as it becomes a more accepted and acceptable part of day-to-day
affairs, associated with good times and healthy enjoyment of life.
Eight out of ten Quebecers aged 15 and older (82%) drink alcohol:
23% drink more than once a week, 12% drink once a week, and 38%
drink occasionally; 18% do not drink at all.
The proportion of wine drinkers is up considerably since 1966
with wine now the alcoholic beverage of choice for 72% ,usurping
the position held by beer for so long. Now 64% drink beer and
44% drink spirits.
People drink most frequently at home (58%) and at friends homes
(17%).The primary reason for drinking was to celebrate a happy
event (89%), when dining in a restaurant (79%) at home (78%).
Although the following figures are higher than in 1966, fewer
people admit to drinking to relax (46%) or drinking alone (27%).
There has been progress in terms of peoples knowledge and understanding
with 3 out of 4 respondent believing that Quebecers are now more
aware of the concept of moderation than they were 5 years ago.
The main reason for this being advertising, media coverage and
tough drunk-driving laws. The slogan, La moderation a bien meilleur
gout ( Moderation is always in better taste), has become something
of a proverb in Quebec and 95% of respondents were familiar with
it. Respondents believed that moderate drinking meant an average
of 2.4 drinks on a single occasion and 90% considered parents
to be responsible for educating children about drinking.
The positive result are a good reason to be pleased, however Educalcool
stressed that complacency must not occur as real problems remain
and are a cause for alarm. One quarter of respondent reported
health problems (28%), alcoholism and addiction (26%), domestic
violence (26%) and road accidents (22%) were the main problems
related to excessive drinking. Half the population felt that the
current legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08 is strict enough, however
50% where in favour of reducing the legal limit to zero, while
Provided that people drink within low-risk parameters, the increase
in drinking is good, but that increase must not lead to higher
incidence of 5 drink, or worse,8 drink occasions. In such cases
Educalcool will continue to pursue its efforts to convince people
that moderation is a rule without exception and that getting plastered
even once is too often. A new focus group for Educalcool are
parents. Due to the increased sense of accountability of Quebecers
they feel that teaching children about drinking is primarily the
parents responsibility, therefore Educalcool will develop programs
to support parents in this process as well as advice and information
for hosts of parties.
The survey results show where Educalcool is at present. A total
of 75% said Educalcool was very or quite credible organization
with a marked increase in those who say they have heard of the
organization (57%), this being more than double the 1966 figure