Drinking one 750ml bottle of wine a week increases the risk of developing cancer over a lifetime by the equivalent of 10 cigarettes a week for women and five for men, a study says.
The UK researchers said this was a good way of communicating the health risks of moderate drinking. But experts said that smoking carried much greater cancer risks than alcohol, for most drinkers. And the only way to cut the risks from smoking was to quit completely.
Government guidelines on alcohol consumption advise men and women to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week - the equivalent of six pints of average strength beer or seven glasses of wine (or a bottle and a half of wine). The guidance also says there is no "safe" level of drinking when it comes to health risk.
This study says even moderate drinking can put people at risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer, which is the most common cancer in women in the UK.