OK, and?

Drinking a bottle of wine increases women’s cancer risk as much as smoking 10 cigarettes, research suggests.

The British study says that for men, drinking a bottle of wine a week increases the absolute lifetime risk of cancer equivalent to smoking five cigarettes weekly.

This is due to the risk of cancer in parts of the body such as the bowel, liver and oesophagus,

For women, it has a similar impact to 10 cigarettes a week, mostly due to an increased risk of breast cancer caused by alcohol, researchers from the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Bangor University and University of Southampton found.

The thing we’d really like to know here. The booze in those quantities increases lifespan on average because of the protective effects upon other things that might kill us. So, is that true of the cigarettes too?

25 thoughts on “OK, and?”

  1. The only thing you know for sure about this sort of “research” is that it was written in ten minutes by a complete moron by someone who always hated “science” at school.

    It would be much more useful to have proven to you that one car is worth 11.5 bicycles.

  2. Never answer the phone halfway through commenting.

    There is a danger you will come across as a complete moron.

  3. It’s the pleasure principle.

    I’d rather leave this earth, in bed at 80, cancer or liver failure taking me, surrounded by my family, remembering all the great Burgundies and Champagnes I drank with good friends.

    My grandma left this earth in her early 90s. She’d been deliberately teatotal for decades. Spent most of that extra decades with dementia.

  4. BTW the only reason I stopped smoking is that I couldn’t smoke 5 cigarettes a week. I did really enjoy the odd cigarette or cigar, especially with a pint. It’s just that I couldn’t have the odd one without wanting to have another 15 a day.

  5. The Telegraph article includes the word “could” when referring to the risk. Walking out of your front door “could” kill. Eating a shed load of jaffa cakes “could” (and did) kill. Anything and everything on this planet “could” kill. Until these so called experts include the word “will” in their death prophecies, I will continue to ignore them, even though ignorance “could” kill!

  6. So, there are huge differences in these cancer rates between wine drinking areas of Europe, the South, and those that drink much less of it?

  7. It’s just epidemiology, NOT science. And corrupt epidemiology at that. If there was any doubt that these morons were coming for your pint, it should be dispelled now.

  8. “…remembering all the great…”

    Having been extremely close to that brink not so long ago, my recollection is that during the brief compos moments while becoming one with the universe, you reminisce about nothing. You think about nothing. You just let events take their course. And I wasn’t close enough to be having out-of-body experiences, or seeing my deity of choice at the end of a tunnel of light.

  9. Wine must be banned. It is a known carcinogen.

    Further down in the report, they – appropriately – provide actual risk numbers. Said drink gives you a 2 or 3 percent chance of getting cancer.


    “A bottle of wine a week could increase women’s cancer risk as much as smoking 10 cigarettes”

    The headline is inappropriate, intended to scare needlessly. “Smoked cigarettes” is a BS metric. The mention of cigarettes at all is bogus.

    So one is left wondering, is this twit Donnelly’s contribution, or are these universities really this incompetent?

  10. @Gamecock it’s all policy based evidence making. I don’t know what’s more frightening, that there are people who are prepared to shamelessly fabricate evidence, or that there are people who will believe it. The ends justify the means. When you consider the damage that drug prohibition does this country,and indeed the World, you can only be filled with dread contemplating what will happen when price rises mean de facto alcohol prohibition for millions.

  11. The problem is the ongoing corruption of science. The epidemiological standard for this used to be something like – it has to double the chance of causing something before we take notice. Anything less than that is noise.

    We’re way short of that in most modern health studies, which is why they use ill-defined criteria like “= 5 cigarettes”. Any time you hear something is e.g. 13% more likely to give you cancer, it’s bs.

    Unfortunately that’s what we’re funding these days. It started in climate science it’s now spread everywhere.

  12. The absolute lifetime risk of getting cancer is increased if your parents or grandparents had it and increases with age, smoker/drinker or not.

    Which is why some who are heavy smokers/drinkers live into their 90s and others just need to walk past a tobacconist or off-licence to die of cancer in their 40s.

  13. For the nth time while reading one of these smoking/drinking threads, I wish I had to hand the easily understandable versions of the risk tables used by Life Insurance companies. The amounts needed to disqualify you or even get a bump in premiums are scarily high.

    Does this study break the numbers down by %age who were drinking AND sitting?

  14. @ Justin
    That you, a guy who thinks about it, regard them as “scarily high” demonstrates the effects of this unceasing propaganda on the nation. When I was young “one over the eight” (i.e. 4.5 pints of beer in one session) was viewed as drinking to mild
    excess – now 4.5 pints of beer in a *week* is denounced as drinking to excess.

  15. Bloke in North Dorset


    Yes, but in (y)our day drought beer would have been something like 3.7%, you can now get drought bitter that is 5% and lagers that are 5.5%.

    That’s why Hague could reasonably claim 13 pints in a full day and evening.

    Not that that should make any difference to the question at hand which is the health fascists continuing with their plan to make alcohol the new tobacco.

  16. When I died I hadn’t smoked for decades nor drunk to excess in yonks. I was saved by falling on my bike, the mechanical shock of which restarted my heart.

    So, smoke and drink what you want as long as you wheel a bicycle everywhere you go.

  17. Oh well, that is me fucked then

    One pack smoker a day, and one bottle of Claret a day!

    The rest of my money is just wasted.

  18. Yes, but in (y)our day draught beer would have been something like 3.7%, you can now get draught bitter that is 5% and lagers that are 5.5%.

    Not necessarily. Fullers ESB, Marstons Owd Rodger, Morland Old Speckled Hen … have been around for a long time. But it’s true there used to be light(er) ales aimed at quenching the ploughman’s thirst with several pints after a long, hard day in the fields. Today you can find plenty of session ales that don’t have to sacrifice taste to achieve an alcohol level under 3.5%, but I agree there are (too) many ales that seem to go for strength over other considerations.

  19. @ BiND
    True, hence the phrase “Lager Louts” for oiks who down litres of tasteless high alcohol liquid. The problem with 13 pints is more the volume than the alcohol content especially for a lad the size of William Hague: I couldn’t cope with 13 pints of water.
    Nevertheless the new guidelines are about one-tenth of the level of the old ones so even if the alcohol content per pint is double it’s still ridiculous.

  20. “I couldn’t cope with 13 pints of water”

    It would possibly be more dangerous than the beer. The salts and sugars etc. in beer mean that you can consume large amounts without upsetting your internal chemistry. The osmosis caused by large amounts of water can kill.

    I don’t know where the boundary line is, but I would suspect it’s not actually that far away Dom 13 pints.

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