Tough new alcohol guidelines issued as health chiefs warn there's no safe level of drinking

There is no such thing as a safe level of drinking, health chiefs have warned in tough new alcohol guidelines.

The new advice says men and women should drink no more than 14 units a week - equivalent to six pints of lager or seven glasses of wine.

ITV News consumer editor Chris Choi reports:

Health chiefs say any amount of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer.

Pregnant women should not consume alcohol at all.

The new guidance - which is the most significant change in advice since 1995 - also suggests people have several alcohol-free days each week.

However, they should not "save up" their 14 units for one night out.


Maximum number of units men and women should consume a week

Old advice suggested that men should drink no more than three to four units a day, and women two to three.

But the new guidance brings limits for men in line with those for women for the first time.

Speaking about the changes, England's Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, said the public must now decide the "level of risk they are prepared to take".

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.

Dame Sally Davies

Health experts and charities have welcomed the updated advice.

Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK's expert on cancer prevention, said the "link between alcohol and cancer is now well established".

"There is no 'safe' level of drinking when it comes to cancer - the less you drink, the lower your risk," she said.

Professor Mark Bellis, the Faculty of Public Health's lead spokesperson for alcohol, said the guidance "sends out a clear message that there is no safe level of drinking alcohol".