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No-alcohol month curbed consumption for rest of year

15:00 05/12/2017

According to a study conducted by Ghent University (UGent), those who took part in the Tournée Minérale teetotal initiative last February drank less alcohol the rest of the year.

Tournée Minérale, launched by the Foundation Against Cancer and the VAD alcohol and drugs expertise centre, challenged Belgians to give up all alcohol for the whole month of February. Even restaurants got behind the initiative, offering special non-alcoholic cocktails.

Some 120,000 people signed up for the campaign, and UGent followed up with them on three occasions since. Participants said that they definitely drank less after giving up alcohol for a whole month.

The daily drinkers who normally consumed 10 or more drinks per week said that they were still drinking less – an average of eight per week. “I think that people saw the advantages of drinking less,” Marijs Geirnaert of VAD told VRT. “They say that they drink out of habit, without even thinking about it, like when they watch TV or are cooking. During Tournée Minérale, they had to question these habits and consider their alcohol use.”

The action will take place again next February. So far, nearly 2,500 people have signed up.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw