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The UK’s Chief Medical Officers (CMO) announced on the 8th January 2016 the proposed new alcohol guidelines following their review of evidence on the links between alcohol and health harms.

Under the Chief Medical Officer’s updated guidelines both men and women will be advised that:

  • You are safest not to regularly drink more than 14 units per week, to keep health risks from drinking alcohol to a low level
  • If you do drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over three days or more. If you have one or two heavy drinking sessions, you increase your risks of death from long term illnesses and from accidents and injuries
  • The risk of developing a range of illnesses (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis
  • If you wish to cut down the amount you’re drinking, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week


The CMO’s guidelines on pregnancy and drinking are also changing with pregnant women now being advised not to drink any alcohol at all. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all, to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

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