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Prof Frank Murray, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, has issued a statement in response to a major new study published in the British Medical Journal.
Prof Murray said, "A substantial number of people in Ireland drink in a way that is harmful to their health. The public should be aware that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption and people should never drink because they believe there is a health gain from alcohol. Evidence shows that there are only marginal health gains for women aged over 65.
"Alcohol consumption is associated with seven types of cancers including breast cancer in women as well as of the liver, oesophagus, and the colon. Consuming alcohol in a low risk way, such as drinking 1 unit a day, increases the risk of getting cancer, a disease that is increasingly prevalent in our society and which is incurable in many cases.
"In recent years there has been a dramatic and continuing decline in the number of road traffic deaths as a result of initiatives around alcohol and driving. There is no magic bullet to reduce the health harm of alcohol in Ireland. This requires many steps, and central to this is the introduction of a Minimum Unit Price for alcohol. The Public Health Alcohol Bill will also present the opportunity to include warnings about the risks between consuming alcohol and getting cancer as well as information about the number of units contained in alcohol products."
New research published in the British Medical Journal states that just one drink a day raises breast cancer risk.
Royal College of Physicians of Ireland