The UK Chief Medical Officer's New Alcohol Guidelines

CAMRA promotes responsible drinking and recognises the harmful effects of high levels of alcohol use and binge drinking. However, as an organisation, we are concerned about the UK Chief Medical Officer's (CMO) new Government guidelines for alcohol consumption.

What does the CMO suggest?

  • Both men and women are safest not to drink more than 14 units per week, and it is best to spread this evenly over 3 or more days
  • The risk of developing a range of illnesses increases with any amount you drink on a regular basis
  • There is ‘no safe level' of alcohol consumption

CAMRA's concerns

We are concerned about the recommendations that the guidelines make and the process by which they were arrived at. In addition, the process has not been made clear to the public. Public health advice should be clear, transparent and impartial of any political agenda to let consumers make their own judgements.

The proposed guidelines state that there is ‘no safe level' of alcohol consumption - which ignores international scientific consensus that moderate alcohol consumption can have a protective effect on health. Despite using the same evidence base as other countries who have recently reviewed their alcohol guidelines, the proposed guidelines are much more restrictive than the international norm - this just doesn't make sense.

Government Consultation

The Government concluded a consultation on the proposed guidelines in April 2016. CAMRA submitted a response, along with over 700 individual submissions from members.

Click here to download CAMRA's response to the Alcohol Guidelines Consultation.

CAMRA's GP survey

We surveyed GPs in 2016 and found that 60% disagree with the statement that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption, and that 63% consider that moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Drinkers' Voice

We are supporting the new alcohol consumer organisation, Drinkers' Voice.

Drinkers' Voice seeks to bring the UK's drinkers into the debate about alcohol and health in a bid to rebut the myths spread by the anti-alcohol lobby.

You can donate to Drinkers' Voice here:

Alcohol Guidelines in the press: