Dry January

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Dry January is a public health campaign urging people to abstain from alcohol for the month of January, particularly practised in the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

The campaign, as a formal entity, appears to be relatively recent, being described as having "sprung up in recent years" even in 2014.[1] However, the Finnish government had launched a campaign called "Sober January" in 1942 as part of its war effort.[2] The term "Dry January" was registered as a trademark by the charity Alcohol Concern in mid-2014;[3] the first ever Dry January campaign by Alcohol Concern occurred in January 2013.[4] In the leadup to the January 2015 campaign, for the first time Alcohol Concern partnered with Public Health England.[5]

In January 2014, according to Alcohol Concern, which initiated the campaign,[when?] over 17,000 Britons stopped drinking for that month.[6] While there is controversy as to the efficacy and benefits of the practice, a 2014 survey by the University of Sussex found that six months following January 2014, out of 900 surveyed participants in the custom, 72% had "kept harmful drinking episodes down" and 4% were still not drinking.[7]

Dry January Switzerland was launched in 2021 by a broad coalition of non-profit organisations, including public innovation platform staatslabor, Blue Cross Switzerland and GREA.[8]

In the United States[edit]

A Nielsen poll found that 13 percent of American respondents in polled January 2021 were participating in "Dry January" with 79 percent attributing the decision to being healthier, while 72 percent were trying to drink less alcohol in general, 63 percent said they wanted to "reset" their drinking, and 49 percent said they were drinking too much during the COVID-19 pandemic. 11 percent of Americans had participated in the practice and total of 73 percent of Americans said they had not heard of Dry January.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Government unveils first 'Dry January' marketing campaign". Marketingmagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  2. ^ ""Raitis tammikuu" (1942) oli tehokas propagandahyökkäys". viestijat.fi. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Trademark information for DRY JANUARY from CTM - by Markify". Trademark.markify.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  4. ^ "ALL ABOUT DRY JANUARY 2014". Mhealthylifestylemag.com. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Festive Drinkers Urged To Try 'Dry January'". LBC. Archived from the original on 2 January 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Abstinence after the boozing. Can you make it a dry January?". The Times. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  7. ^ "BBC News - 'Dry January' linked to drinking less in long term". BBC News. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Eistee statt Kopfweh". dryjanuary.ch. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  9. ^ Meyers, Alyssa (2021-01-08). "2020 Didn't Sap Americans' Appetite for Dry January". Morning Consult. Retrieved 2021-01-11.

External links[edit]