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Should #alcohol have health warnings like cigarettes?

Should mandatory warnings about the dangers of alcohol, similar to those seen on cigarette packets, be published on wine bottles and beer cans?

Official guidance has been published warning that no level of regular drinking could be considered as “completely safe”. The new guidance, published by the UK’s chief medical officers cuts the maximum recommended number of units men can consume in a week from 21 down to 14 (the same as women)

The guidance also suggests drinkers should have several booze-free days a week to reduce their intake, and recommends the safest approach for pregnant women is not to drink alcohol at all.

It also suggests people should drink more slowly, eat some food with their drinks and alternate between alcohol and glasses of water.

These evidence-based guidelines were put together based on recommendations from a group of independent doctors, after looking at 20 years’ worth of evidence.

They represent the maximum amount we can drink each week with little risk to our health.

Alcohol is linked to over 60 medical conditions including cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure, and regularly drinking over the recommended limits can increase the risk of developing alcohol-related illnesses.

We know that nine out of ten people don’t know about the link between drinking and cancer and so we are calling for mandatory health warnings on alcohol products, as it is standard practice in other countries.

JOANNA SIMONS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, ALCOHOL CONCERN

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About Paul Hooper, WCC (586 Articles)
Group Manager: Community Safety and Substance Misuse
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