Drinking a bottle of wine increases the risk of cancer by the same amount as smoking 10 cigarettes, a study suggests.
Scientists calculated the cancer risk of alcohol compared to smoking and came up with the shock statistic for women. For men, researchers found a bottle of wine a week had the same risk as smoking five cigarettes.
The risk from alcohol was higher for women because of the link with breast cancer, which women have a 14 percent lifetime risk of developing.
One bottle of wine per week, or 10 units, means an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1 percent for men and 1.4 percent for women, University Hospital Southampton, Bangor University and Southampton University found.
Dr Theresa Hydes said: â€œIt is well established that heavy drinking is linked to cancer. Yet, in contrast to smoking, this is not widely understood by the public.
â€œWe hope that by using cigarettes as the comparator we could communicate this message more effectively to help individuals make more informed lifestyle choices.â€
Brigid Simmonds, of the British Beer and Pub Association, said: â€œThis is an absurd study which does little to educate people.â€