New guidelines for alcohol consumption, produced by the UK Chief Medical Officers, warn that drinking any level of alcohol increases the risk of a range of cancers. This is supported by a new review from the Committee on Carcinogenicity (CoC) on alcohol and cancer risk.

The new weekly guidelines are the same for men and women:

The new guidelines are clear that ‘no level of regular drinking can be considered as completely safe’ and ‘the risk of a number of cancers increases from any level of regular drinking’. So, if you drink, you increase your risk of certain cancers. But, you can keep this risk low if you don’t regularly drink more than 14 units a week.

How much is 14 units of alcohol?

14 units of alcohol are:

  • six pints of 4% beer
  • six 175ml glasses of 13% wine
  • fourteen 25ml measures of 40% spirits.

In the UK, one unit is 10 millilitres of pure alcohol. And it’s the amount of alcohol in your drink rather than the type of drink that makes the difference, so check the ABV% strength of beer, cider, wine, alcopops and spirits.