I will
  • reduce my risk of cancer and other diseases
  • look good, feel good and have more energy
  • wake up hangover-free
  • be reducing my kilojoule intake

Cancer Australia recommends*: If alcoholic drinks are consumed: for men, limit your intake to no more than two standard drinks each day; for women, further limit your intake to one standard drink to reduce cancer risk.

  • Drinking alcohol can cause a number of different types of cancer such as cancers of the head and neck, throat, liver, bowel and breast.
  • Alcohol is the second greatest preventable cause of drug-related death and hospitalisation in Australia following tobacco.
  • Alcohol can also damage your liver and brain, lead to heart disease and stroke and cause alcohol-related injury and accidents. It can also lead to risks to unborn babies.

One standard drink is just one serve, right?

One standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol. But it’s important to be aware that drinks served in the home and at bars and restaurants often contain more alcohol than one standard drink. Keep on track with how much you’re consuming by:


  • Using this handy Standard Drink Guide which gives the exact measurements whether you like beer, wine or spirits. Stick it on the fridge at home or work as a reminder so you can become familiar with the amounts.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the bar tender to pour you exact measurements so you know exactly how much alcohol you’re getting.

A few glasses of wine after work won’t hurt!

Even low levels of alcohol consumption, such as a few glasses of wine each night, can increase your risk of cancer. The fact is, the more you drink, the higher your risk.


  • If you like to grab a drink when you get home from work, try breaking the habit by not keeping any alcohol in the house.
  • Keep a bottle of sparkling water in the fridge instead. Add a wedge of lemon or lime to give it an extra zing.
  • If you really must have a drink, set yourself a limit of one. Drink it slowly to enjoy it, and stick to your limit!
  • Aim to have at least two alcohol-free days every week.

It’s too hard to limit my drinking on a night out with friends

With all of our amazing weather, sports events and barbecues, drinking is common in Australian culture. However, social occasions can often be our downfall and can lead to binge-drinking. Here’s how to moderate your drinking:


  • Start with a non-alcoholic drink or mocktail, alternate with alcoholic drinks or try low-alcohol beer or wine.
  • Eat proper meal before a night out, especially foods rich in carbohydrates and proteins.
  • Opt out of rounds, this is a one-way ticket to over-doing it.
  • Organise events which don’t involve drinking – like going for a walk, or grabbing a coffee.

I won’t see any benefits from cutting back on booze

Reducing the amount of alcohol you consume will not only reduce your risk of cancer, it will also improve your overall health. Next time you think about having a drink, remind yourself of the extra benefits:


  • You could lose weight! Alcoholic drinks are high in calories, so the more you drink the more likely you are to gain weight.
  • Healthier looking skin – alcohol causes dehydration, so keep your overall complexion looking fresh with less booze.
  • Reduced risk of other chronic diseases and health conditions – alcohol consumption is also associated with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and liver disease.
  • Although some people think that drinking alcohol is good for their heart, research suggests that health benefits of alcohol have been over-estimated, and if there are any benefits, they are limited to very low serves. The negative effects of drinking outweigh any possible small benefits!

Top tip

Check out the healthdirect website to find out how alcohol affects your health.

*This recommendation is specific to cancer risk and is in line with international guidelines on cancer prevention. Source: World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective. Washington DC: AICR, 2007