- Scotland has so much to gain from reducing how much we drink
- AFS welcomes revised alcohol consumption guidelines
- Emergency services face shocking levels of alcohol abuse
- Every child has the right to grow up safe from alcohol harm
- Public health must prevail over big business
- New toolkit to help children affected by family alcohol problems
- Price check reveals cheap cost of strong alcohol
- Sales increase underlines need for minimum pricing
- Time to kick alcohol out of sport
- Alcohol linked with stomach cancer
- AFS calls for compulsory health warnings on alcoholic drinks
- Are supermarkets 'responsible retailers' when it comes to alcohol?
- Scottish health charities call for excise duty rise to tackle cheap alcohol
- Alcohol campaigners unite to call for stronger protection from alcohol advertising to children
- New resource for people concerned about alcohol in their community
- Minimum pricing decision delayed until summer
- No completely 'safe' level of drinking
- New alcohol guidelines published
- Minimum pricing - European court ruling
- Alcohol fuels ambulance assaults
- 82% of Scots agree drink driving is unacceptable
- Scotland's alcohol strategy - what next?
- Scotland leads way in evidence-based alcohol policy
- New report reveals impact of alcohol on emergency services
- AFS appoints new chief executive
- Alcohol: a global concern
- Campaigners gather in Edinburgh for global alcohol conference
- Alcohol and pregnancy don't mix
- European Court minimum pricing opinion
- Call for minimum pricing as alcohol deaths rise
- How much are we really drinking?
- Dr Evelyn Gillan
- Majority of Brits harmed by other people's drinking
- Interactive map of alcohol and tobacco outlets
- Help consumers make an informed choice about alcohol
- Alcohol debate must continue
- Alcohol sponsorship in Formula 1: a dangerous cocktail
- Minimum pricing case to be heard in Europe
New alcohol guidelines published
Men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week to reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer and liver disease, under new guidelines issued by the UK Chief Medical Officers.
Scotland's Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Catherine Calderwood, joined her counterparts across the UK to set out the new guidance following an expert review of the scientific evidence on the impact of alcohol on health since the previous guidelines were published in 1995.
The guidance makes clear that there is no "safe" level of alcohol consumption. The risk of developing a range of cancers increases even at low levels of consumption.
- The CMOs advise that both men and women do not regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week, to keep health risks to a low level. Fourteen units is the equivalent of 6 pints of beer, a bottle and a half of wine, or half a 750ml bottle of spirits.
- If people drink 14 units per week, this should be spread over three days or more.
- Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol. This has been the message in Scotland for some time but it is now consistent across the UK.
Commenting on the new guidelines, Alison Douglas, Chief Executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland said:
"We welcome this updated advice from the UK Chief Medical Officers. The new guidelines are based on a comprehensive review of the latest scientific evidence about the health risks of drinking alcohol. In particular it makes clear that alcohol causes seven types of cancer. Less than half of us are aware of this link - and that the risk increases even at low levels of consumption.
"People have the right to know what they're putting into their bodies so they can make informed choices. The next step is to make sure the new guidelines are clearly communicated to the public. One way to help inform consumers would be to have compulsory health warnings on all alcohol products."
The new guidelines will take effect immediately, although there is a consultation on whether the guidelines are clear and easy to understand (closing date 1 April 2016).