Mar 9, 2013 / 10:49 am
Experts suggest women may be catching up to their male peers when it comes to alcohol consumption.
A group of researchers gathered in Toronto on Friday to discuss what they describe as a rise in female drinking.
Several said booze was the new tobacco, saying alcohol companies have begun targeting ads towards women the way cigarette manufacturers did in the late 1960s.
They said advertisers market liquor as "diet" or "natural" in an effort to appeal to health-conscious women.
They said the result is a rise in women suffering from liver disease and other alcohol-related illnesses, saying it mirrored the spike in ailments caused by smoking several decades ago.
Experts agreed the issue demanded change, both from advertisers and the governments that regulate alcohol sales.
"Over and over again, young people are being exposed to more alcohol advertising than adults," said David Jernigan, director of the U.S.-based Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth. "This is an opportunity ... an area of growth for the industry."
Research supports the notion that drinking among women is on the rise.
Earlier this week, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health issued a report describing alcohol as one of the top health risks in the country and calling for more government involvement in alcohol sales, pricing, advertising and treatment.
The report also included a score card for each province on its alcohol controls. Ontario topped the rankings, while Quebec came in last.
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