For those of you thinking of having a drink or two tonight, it’s probably best you ignore these tough new guidelines on alcohol consumption.
That’s because there is no such thing as a safe level for drinking alcohol, health chiefs have warned.
New research by Britain’s chief medical officers has found that drinking more than one glass of wine or pint of beer a day could increase the risk of developing cancer.
The report advises both men and woman who drink regularly to consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week – the equivalent of six pints of beer or seven glasses of wine.
Drinkers should indulge themselves in moderation, the new advice says, while binge drinking sessions, which increase the risk of accident and injury, should be curbed.
The evidence from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (COC) contradicts the conventional wisdom that drinking a glass of wine a day can have health benefits.
They say that people who do not drink are at significantly less risk of developing cancer than those who do.
Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer for England, said: “Drinking any level of alcohol regularly carries a health risk for anyone, but if men and women limit their intake to no more than 14 units a week it keeps the risk of illness like cancer and liver disease low.”
However, critics of the study have labeled it as an attempt to “scaremonger” the public into changing their drinking habits.
Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “The change to the guidelines will turn hundreds of thousands of people into ‘hazardous drinkers’ overnight, thereby reviving the moral panic about drinking in Britain and opening the door to yet more nanny state interventions.”
Meanwhile, the guidelines received a mixed reception on Twitter.
One user accused the medical chiefs of “nanny statism”, while another branded the advice as a “joke”.
Prof Sir Ian Gilmore, chair of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said the new advice was much-needed.
“People have a right to know the risks associated with drinking alcohol.
“Only with accurate and transparent information are people able to make an informed choice about how much alcohol they consume.”
However, some Twitter users were able to see the funny side.