NPR: Can Fear Of Cancer Keep College Kids From Binge Drinking?
Linda Poon | 03.28.14
Many college students associate a good time with good friends, good music and good booze. But with half of all college drinkers engaging in binge drinking, the habit remains one of the biggest health risks among young adults.
Campaigns that tackle this problem often focus on familiar risks like drunken driving, unsafe sex and even death, but researchers say that warning students about the lesser-known link between alcohol and cancer may also be a new approach for deterring binge drinking.
In 2009, an estimated 3.5 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. were alcohol related, and recent studies suggest that women who drank daily increased their risk of breast cancer by 13 percent. Alcohol can also lead to mouth, pancreas and liver cancer, but because these links have only been recently established, college students may be less aware of them.
Educating them about those dangers may lower students' intent to binge drink, says Cindy Yixin Chen, a health communications researcher at the University at Buffalo and the study's lead author.