Meanwhile, those under the age of 18, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should have no exposure to alcohol at all.
Previous guidelines recommended no more than 14 drinks a week for healthy adults.
More evidence continues to pour in showing an increased risk of cancer, even when consumed in low amounts.
We’re not telling Australians how much to drink. We’re providing advice about the health risks from drinking alcohol so that we can all make informed decisions in our daily lives. This advice has been developed over the past three years using the best health evidence available,” says Professor Anne Kelso, CEO of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
“In 2017 there were more than 4,000 alcohol-related deaths in Australia, and across 2016/17 more than 70,000 hospital admissions. Alcohol is linked to more than 60 medical conditions, particularly numerous cancers. So, we all need to consider the risks when we decide how much to drink.
“To reduce the risk of harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should not drink alcohol. For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby. We need to keep in mind that while the risk of harm to the fetus is likely to be slight when the mother drinks small amounts of alcohol (less than 1 standard drink per day) there is not enough evidence to know for sure whether the fetus will be safe from harm, even at this low amount of alcohol. That is why we recommend not drinking alcohol,” Professor Kelso continues.
“These guidelines will help all of us think about our personal risk, and help us to drink responsibly,” adds Professor Brendan Murphy, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and a member of the NHMRC Council.
“They are the result of a comprehensive and robust process over the past three years. They will help me and every Chief Medical Officer in the States and Territories to provide clear messages about the risks of drinking alcohol, to ensure the health of all Australians. If all Australians follow these guidelines we won’t stop every alcohol-related death, but we will save thousands of lives, especially younger lives.”