Northern Territories Alcohol Labels Study

photo of CISUR's new alcohol warning labels affixed to bottles in the Whitehorse liquor store
CISUR's alcohol warning labels affixed to products in the Whitehorse liquor store. Credit: Kate Vallance

CISUR and Public Health Ontario (PHO) are leading the first real-world evaluation of alcohol warning labels in Canada. Also known as "An evaluation of an alcohol labelling intervention to raise awareness of health harms, low-risk drinking guidelines and standard drink contents of alcohol containers: a comparison of two northern Canadian cities," this project, led by Erin Hobin (PI) and Tim Stockwell (Co-PI), will test the population-level will test the population-level impact of alcohol warning labels using alcohol sales data and surveys in an intervention site (Whitehorse, Yukon) and control site (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories). Results will inform policy options for alcohol labelling in Yukon and could set the stage for wider implementation across Canada. This study builds on previous research testing the design and acceptability of alcohol warning labels among consumers in Canada.

Read the Northern Territories Alcohol Label Study: Baseline Report Executive Summary

Read the November 2017 intervention launch media release.

Study results coming soon. Read our two articles published in a special issue on alcohol warning labels in Alcohol and Alcoholism.

A recent conference presentation on alcohol, health warnings in Yukon and Canadian law is now available for download.

Journal articles

Project journal articles

Other labelling publications


Photos, webinars and powerpoints

Label images

Related news stories, blogs, etc

 Coverage of study resumption:

Coverage of study halt:

Media at launch:

Other related news stories:

About this project

Also known as the Northern Territories Alcohol Labels Study, this study is based on four years of preliminary research in Ontario, BC and the Yukon, and looks to evaluate the impacts on awareness, knowledge and behaviour of alcohol consumers of a labelling intervention implemented in the Whitehorse, Yukon government liquor store in comparison with the two government liquor stores in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Three warning labels were introduced in Whitehorse during the intervention period between November 2017 and July 2018: a cancer warning, national drinking guidelines, and standard drink information. Baseline surveys and two waves of follow-up surveys were completed in Whitehorse and Yellowknife with liquor store customers. Shortly after the intervention launched, Canadian alcohol industry lobby groups interfered with the study forcing a pause in the labelling and removal of the cancer warning. Full details of the study design are available in the publication outlining the protocol. 

Progress to date

Despite the study being interrupted by Canadian alcohol industry lobby groups, the intervention was successfully completed. Data analyses are currently underway with a number of publications forthcoming. 

Funding bodies

Health Canada, Substance Use and Addictions Program