‘Alcohol should be the new smoking’
It's time for alcohol to be discouraged as strongly as smoking. This is the message given by Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat Medicine Jeroen Jansen during his inaugural lecture on 18 October 2019. He believes that alcohol consumption is an important cause of head and neck cancers, but it is also a social problem.
'Drinking alcohol is deeply embedded in our culture, even though it can cause a great deal of harm. Besides smoking, alcohol is an important risk factor for head and neck cancers. As an academic hospital and university, we need to set a good example by discouraging the use of alcohol. What I'd particularly like to see are programmes that help patients suffering from head and neck cancers to stop drinking,' commented the new Professor of Ear, Nose and Threat Medicine, appointed in January. His expertise is in the area of head, neck and skull cancers.
No need for complete abstention
Jansen is not advocating complete abtension, but hopes that drinking alcohol will become less the norm. 'Alcohol should become the new smoking. It should be cooler for young people to be playing football on a Sunday morning than to spend their Saturday evenings out drinking till all hours.' He is setting a good example by having the reception after his inaugural lecture alcohol free.