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Alcohol Advice

  • Last modified date:
    14 February 2012

The UK Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) recommend that men should not regularly drink more than 3–4 units of alcohol a day and women should not regularly drink more than 2–3 units a day.
‘Regularly’ means drinking every day or most days of the week.

You should also take a break for 48 hours after a heavy session to let your body recover.
For more information on units, as well as the health harm that can be caused by regularly drinking more than the CMOs advise, visit the NHS Choices website.

Alcohol and pregnancy

When you drink, alcohol reaches your baby through the placenta. But the baby can't process it as fast as you can, so it is exposed to greater amounts of alcohol for longer than you are, which can seriously affect the baby's development.

Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol. If they do choose to drink, to minimise the risk to the baby, they should not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week and should not get drunk. Additional advice from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises women to avoid alcohol in the first three months in particular, because of the increased risk of miscarriage.

Alcohol and Young People

In 2009 the Chief Medical Officer lauched guidance on children and young people’s alcohol consumption and guidelance for parents. For further information visit:

Additional links

Next Steps on Alcohol Labelling

The Government has published the report of the consultation on labelling which took place in 2010 and its response to it.

Responsibilty Deal Launched

The Responsibility Deal has been established to tap into the potential for businesses and other organisations to improve public health and tackle health inequalities through their influence over food, alcohol, physical activity and health in the workplace.

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