Alcohol-free Tournée Minérale back for fourth edition


Take part in the Cancer Association’s Tournée Minérale to give up booze for the entire month of February


Registrations are open for the fourth edition of Tournée Minérale, the challenge to go alcohol-free for one month. Last year, some 20% of all adults in Belgium signed on to the initiative, which takes place in February.

Restaurants and bars get in on the action by creating new alcohol-free cocktails during February. Those taking part with special drinks can be found on the campaign website.

Organised by Stichting tegen Kanker (Cancer Association) and De Druglijn, Tournée Minérale is meant to get people thinking about casual drinking. It takes a bit of effort to give up the usual wine with dinner, beer at a football match or a nightcap before bed.

Alcohol increases our risk of getting certain cancers, and it has a lot of calories

- Didier vander Steichel

And the initiative seems to be having an effect: According to research carried out by Ghent University, six months after taking part in Tournée Minérale, participants drink two fewer glasses of alcohol a week on average. They also report that during the alcohol-free month, they slept better and lost weight.

“Alcohol increases our risk of getting certain cancers,” says Didier vander Steichel, director of Stichting tegen Kanker. That includes mouth, throat and stomach cancer, as well as colon and breast cancer and cancer of the liver. “In addition, alcohol has a lot of calories, so it contributes to obesity, which in turn also contributes to an increased risk of cancer.”

February was chosen for a reason: It follows weeks of holiday celebrations, which usually see people drinking more than usual.

People can register as taking part in Tournée Minérale on the website, as well as order a bracelet to show solidarity with other participants. Proceeds from sales of the bracelet go to Stichting tegen Kanker.