Eesti Elu
TÄNAVALT (From the street). Sobering enough?
Arvamus 25 Nov 2011  Eesti Elu
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The main message reads: "Ka mõõdukas alkoholitarvitamine (Even moderate alcohol consumption) KURNAB organismi (compromises / exhausts the system) ja SOODUSTAB haiguste teket" (and promotes / contributes to the inception of disease). Information on amounts consumed, effects, precautions, facts, particularly for young people and where to get help can be found at a new website (www.alkoinfo.ee).

Not yet common knowledge to all Estonians may be that detrimental health effects depend on the amount of absolute or pure alcohol consumed, not on the strength or type of alcoholic beverage consumed. Moderate health risks begin when men consume 41-60 grams and women 21-40 grams of pure alcohol (etanool or ethyl alcohol) a day.

Maris Jesse, director of the Tervise Arengu Instituut reminded people in an interview with Postimees on Nov. 16th that alcohol contributes to more than 60 health problems, including kasvajad / tumours, südame-veresoonkonna haigused / heart and circulatory problems, seedesüsteemi haigused / diseases of the digestive tract, as well as vaimse tervise / mental health problems. This is important news to drive home to Estonians. In case they were in denial. "Meil on ka üheksa diagnoosi, kus sõna "alkohol" on juba tõve nimes sees," märkis Jesse. – "We have nine diagnoses, in which the word alcohol is part of the disease name," notes Jesse. One of them being alkohoolne kardiomüopaatia or "alcohol-related" cardiomyopathy; heart muscle disease caused by alcohol toxicity.

It's important to stress to people living in Estonia that alcohol is also associated with an increased risk of numerous cancers (vähk / pl. vähid). Rinnavähk / breast cancer in women is linked with alcohol intake and the World Health Organisation warns that alcohol dramatically increases the risk of cancers of the mouth (suukoobas), esophagus (söögitoru), pharynx (neel / neeluvähk) and larynx (kõri). Not to mention colorectal (kolorektaalne ehk käärsoole ja pärasoole), liver (maksa) and stomach cancers (magu / maovähk).

Here's to your health! TEIE TERVISEKS! To increased awareness and reducing alcohol-related damage, which continues to be responsible for a disturbingly large amount of the total disease burden in Eastern Europe and a considerable proportion of reduced life expectancy. Will this poster make a difference? Is more shock-therapy is needed? Estonia has had its share of shocking advertising images; perhaps this is one target audience who needs more than this simple message to change their thinking and behaviour. But it's a start.

 
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