Drinkers are being warned that regularly consuming even a small amount of alcohol can lead to cancer.
Government guidelines on alcohol consumption have been revised, with men being urged to halve their weekly intake from 28 to 14 units – the biggest change in public health policy for more than 20 years.
Women are also being told to curb their drinking, with 14 units being the most they should drink in any given week.
This means the typical British adult should not be having more than six pints of beer or five 175ml glasses of wine in a seven-day period.
England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said: “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.
Wine bottles should carry health warnings to combat alcohol abuse, politicians have said.
“What we are aiming to do with these guidelines is give the public the latest and most up-to-date scientific information so that they can make informed decisions about their own drinking and the level of risk they are prepared to take.”
A bottle of wine contains about 10 units, while a pint of beer equates to 2.3 units.
Before, official guidelines suggested it was safe for men to consume 28 units a week – the equivalent of about 12 pints.
The recommended limit for women was 21 units.
It has been stressed that the guidelines are not about safe drinking, but about managing risk.
Put simply, the more alcohol you drink, the greater the threat of cancer.
As before, it is recommended that Britons spread their units over the course of a week instead of saving them up for bingeing.