back to article Boozing is unsafe at ‘any level’, thunders chief UK.gov quack

The government’s chief advisor on health ignored more than 80 studies to produce her new Puritanical guidelines on booze – which asks Britons to forego their Friday drink. Civil servant Dame Sally Davies has drawn up the lowest recommendations in the West: there is no “safe drinking level”, her team declared. The question is …

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er, what nanny state?

"Bollocks! If I fancy a beer, I shall bloody well have a beer!"

Well yes, yes you will. It's a free country. That's why the government health body issues *guidelines* and *recommendations*, not orders. So I'm not sure exactly what brave stand you think you're taking because everyone would be perfectly happy to acknowledge that yes, you have the right to drink however the hell much beer you like.

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Consider for a moment, if you will, the danger to the economy of this quackery. Consider also the damage caused by ‘Dry January’ (and every other dry month - there are a worrying number).

I’m not saying that everyone should drink - some people might have very good reasons for abstaining (not least that they don’t like booze very much). I’m not saying that some people shouldn’t cut back a little (but, on the basis of this report, it seems to me that some people could do with upping their intake rather a lot). I am saying that, provided what I do affects only me, the government should butt the fuck out and leave me to get on with it. I’d hate for pubs to have to shut because of all this foolishness.

Join with me in a New Year Resolution - make 2016 the ‘Support the Publican’ year. Don’t drink at home. Don’t abstain (well, unless you’re teetotal - in which case, carry on). Go down to your local boozer at every opportunity and sink a couple. Your stress levels will go down - and your enjoyment of life will improve immeasurably - even as its duration shrinks infinitesimally.

chin chin!

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Joke

Indeed

My new years resolution is start early, finish late, at the pub.

Still not keen on people going to the pub for a ******* latte.

When I can get a pint in Starbucks feel free to stop me getting alcohol in a pub by ordering a bloody coffee.

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Pint

There is no “safe drinking level”

So I'm not safe even if I have zero beers!

Maybe a quick pint (or two) will help take my mind off the danger...

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Re: There is no “safe drinking level”

There is no safe drinking level for mercury.

For beer the safe drinking level is anything that doesn't make you shit your pants while passed out.

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Paris Hilton

Re: There is no “safe drinking level”

Hangonamo... Mercury's dead, isn't he? So he's unlikely to be drinking.

All the more for the rest of us!!!

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Megaphone

Re: There is no “safe drinking level”

Umber reports the casus of a suicidal nurse who injected herself with with 27 grams of mercury, resulting in a small mercury lake in her right heart chamber. She lived many years thereafter and died of an unrelated cause.

Sven Moeschlin, Klinik und Therapie der Vergiftungen, page 99.

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What's it supposed to achieve?

"As Snowden shrewdly observes, the alcohol guidelines aren’t written for the public, which will simply ignore them..."

Indeed, the public will ignore them, but I can't really buy the idea that it's just to achieve faux moral one-upmanship at bureaucratic and diplomatic junkets either.

As the article points out, this advice/recommendation runs counter to all of the evidence thus far gained and as such is a contradiction of reality.

The most worrying aspect of this announcement is not that drinking is dangerous at any level but that the government's chief medical advisor thinks it's a good idea to make this announcement, in contradiction of reality, according to all the available evidence, and will achieve some objective by doing so.

Given that the announcement is targeted at the public, and in a pretty high-profile way, as it's in all of the national media, I can't accept that the objective is simply bragging rights at junkets.

I suspect that the real purpose of this announcement is to justify a big rise in booze prices, via a reduction in quantity for the same price, along the same lines as we've seen with recommendations to reduce sugar content and the size of food servings for health reasons, but with no corresponding price cut. Now these measures may deter those who do over-consume, but I doubt it; those who do over-consume already know they are doing so, and will continue to do so, as long as they can afford to. No, I think it's really for everyone else, who doesn't over-consume, and will just have to pay more to get the same (reasonable) amount.

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News Just In

Life is a terminal disease only curable by death!

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Re: News Just In

And just who's crazy damn idea was this anyway? It's like life was deigned by some damn government agency!

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Re: News Just In

What a great (intentional?) use of "deigned". I had never realized that "designed" was a derivative but now I see the connection.

This said with sincere hand-slapping!

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Hands up who didn't see this coming?

It's been obvious that this was coming ever since they banned smoking in public places, slapped huge duties on it, and cast smokers in the role of pariahs.

I remember at the time, when several non-smoking drinkers were smugly celebrating their victories over smokers, saying that drink would be the next target. Sadly, it seems to be coming to pass.

So, watch for increasing propaganda against drinking, leading to massive hikes in alcohol taxes "For the good of the public health".

Then once they have achieved that for alcohol, it'll be on to the next item on their agenda, namely sugar (I note they have already started on that).

"First they came for the smokers, but I didn't speak out because I am not a smoker..." to coin a quote.

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Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

Sadly mostly likely true, have an up-vote.

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Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

The state can try to stop us drinking by quadrupling (or more) the tax on booze. However unlike tobacco, its easy enough to make your own beer/wine/spirits. True, most homebrew is horrible, but its amazing how, after just a few glasses, you kind of stop noticing how bad it is.

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Mushroom

Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

...except smoke in general is a poison that will kill you and one that people usually avoid.

2nd hand smoke also contains nasty industrial pollutants that may not harm the smoker but can and do harm the people around him.

Booze only pickles the person actually drinking. The fact that my cancer (likely caused by 2nd hand smoke) has left my liver in a condition that forces me to be sober does not put me at any risk from the guy guzzling booze next to me.

Entirely different situation.

...now even Russian males don't think it's cool to subject people to 2nd hand smoke and they're like the biggest jack*sses on the planet.

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Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

Very true.

It's almost like somebody just looked around a pub, made a list then gave it to some oik to produce "recommendations" on.

Just wait. Sooner or later there will be a report on the negative health aspects of chicken in a basket, crisps, pork scratchings, dominoes and darts!

Sometimes I wonder if it's just a case of the idiots behind these reports are either afraid to have fun or just want to live forever!

Meanwhile...

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Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

My mother lives next door to a nurse. Middle of nowhere. Nurse has been increasingly rabid about my mother smoking to the point they've fallen out. Nurse has had two sprogs. Nurse was slim. Now nurse is a fat bloater. Nurse used to smoke.

Last time my elderly mother had an incident, I had to drive 80 miles because "NHS retained" flat bloater two sprog "I'm working" "child credit" woman has decided my mother's bird table is causing rats in her garden.

Nurse needs counseling. Not going to happen. Tax dollars at work folks.

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Facepalm

Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

" a condition that forces me to be sober does not put me at any risk from the guy guzzling booze next to me."

As long as he:

isn't driving his car in your direction.

doesn't take exception to your face.

doesn't gesture wildly at you with his glass,.

doesn't puke/piss on you.

Jeez, just being in a pub is dangerous.

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Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

"...unlike tobacco, its easy enough to make your own beer/wine/spirits..."

Tobacco is a plant. You can grow it in your garden or in a box on the windowsill or indoors. (If you live in northern Scandinavia or similar, you'd need some sort f greenhouse anyway.) Even the bit after the harvest isn't that complicated and about on par with makein wine or beer, distilling is a bit more tricky. Source: my grandparents did this for a while, way back when.

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Vic

Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

Jeez, just being in a pub is dangerous.

You go to the wrong pubs...

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hands up who didn't see this coming?

Quite a lot of people suffer ill-health due to the second-hand damage caused by drinking.

Partners, kids, random folk in the street, people on the roads...

I'm not anti-either; I just find the moral argument that smoking is deadly 2nd hand, but drinking is not, a touch disingenuous.

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Anonymous Coward

Can we please silence all the

retarded politicians and so called "experts" that proffer such outright bullship?

Just a hint, lies and prevarications uttered by these idiotic morons and pantywaists should ALWAYS be ignored.

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"Wowsers" These people are called "Wowsers"

Learn something new every day thanks to Jimbo's Fortean Grabbag of Deep Knowledge

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Re: "Wowsers" These people are called "Wowsers"

@DAM: Excellent. Thank you for expanding my vocabulary. Filed under "I never knew that!"

I was almost as confused as Rincewind about the word:

...'Oh, you don't wanna go to Bugarup,' said Remorse. 'Nothing in Bugarup but a bunch of wowsers and pooftahs.'

' 's okay, I like parrots,' mumbled Rincewind, who was just hoping that they would let him go so that he could hold on to the ground again. [The Last Continent]

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Pirate

I just done the 'swingometer' thingy...

... and should have died 30 years ago.

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And here I always liked her movies...

You'll find me in the error bar...

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Pint

Confused?

14 units/week = 1% risk of alcohol related death.

From the Beeb article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35255384

"Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, an expert in understanding risk from the University of Cambridge, said it was important to put the 1% risk in context. He said an hour of TV watching or a bacon sandwich a couple of time a week was more dangerous."

What?

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Coat

Re: Confused?

How much is that in micromorts?

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Pint

The History Lesson

For Thousands of years Water has been unsafe to Drink all those germs and crap in it

For Thousands of years Beer was Brewed and Drunk (sic) because it was Safer to drink than Water

You Cannot ignore the lessons of history

Beer icon "What other could you have used"

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Pint

Reminds me of Woody Allen

Repeated studies have shown that alcohol in moderation prolongs life: it reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact the benefits of alcohol in preventing strokes and heart disease are far clearer than the negatives of drinking.

See the film "Sleeper" talking about smoking and eating hamburgers.

I have a lot of time for Sally Hawkins and would side with her on the statement: "there is no safe level". But I think you can do this without being puritanical. Alcohol has strong physiological effects on pretty much all of our major systems and is known to be addictive and mood-changing: some of the worst damage is caused indirectly through injuries and alcohol-fuelled violence.

I also can't recall any studies that suggested that the chemical alcohol was in any way healthy. There are various benefits attributed to some of the byproducts of some of our tipples (red wine for hearts, pseudo-oestrogen for bones, etc.) but I don't think we'll ever see dispensaries of surgical alcohol.

But banning something rarely makes it go away. Health education is the key to helping people make more informed decisions. There is much in our lifestyle that increases the risk to health but as the Dutch say "geniet, maar met mate" – "all things in moderation". I'll drink to that.

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Re: Reminds me of Woody Allen

"I also can't recall any studies that suggested that the chemical alcohol was in any way healthy."

It doesn't mean there aren't any. It's almost certain you exist because of it. Alcohol produces children. Alcohol enabled the parents to stay alive long enough to produce those children. Alcohol allowed those children to survive long enough to themselves procreate.

Much though I fancy a tomato or lettuce when I've a hangover, neither of of those make my wife more fertile - (directly - snigger).

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The dangers of "safe"

As many politicians and others have found in the past, there are huge dangers in talking about anything that is risk-related in terms of absolutes - "safe", "secure", etc.

In this case, "safe" has been defined as a less than 1% increased risk; which, as many others have pointed out, is small compared to many other risks to which we are exposed daily.

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Anonymous Coward

New Rule?

In keeping with the principles of Eurobureacracy, we should now see a rule requiring that alcoholic beverages be excluded from all EU government expense accounts

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Re: New Rule?

What does this article and the related the report have to do with the EU?

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FAIL

The dangers of "safe"

As many politicians and others have found in the past, there are huge dangers in talking about anything that is risk-related in terms of absolutes - "safe", "secure", etc.

In this case, "safe" has been defined as a less than 1% increased risk; which, as many others have pointed out, is small compared to many other risks to which we are exposed daily.

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Pint

So if there is "No safe level"...

...that means that no matter how little you drink, it's dangerous.

In that case, might as well just Go For It and down several units every day then - if we're going to die anyway, might as well enjoy it while we are here!

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Windows

Perspective

Are there any studies on the social utility of alcohol? If there any benefits. Otherwise, why do we do it?

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Surely the politicians should now set an example by closing the Commons bar immediately?

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Would that be all 8 bars they have?

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Anonymous Coward

Alcohol is an escape from the situations the powers that be could alleviate.

So maybe, legalise other things.

Is microdosing LSD going to do someone any harm once a week in a safe social environment?

Lcd.

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Bollocks to Govs

Remember LSD was further developed by the US Government for troops on the ground (in 'Nam) to keep them going 24/7 with no sleep if I am correct (can't be arsed to google it, too drunk). Also when I was an apprentice in Pompey Dockyard 1976 ~ 1980 all the matelots got 2 free cans of beer a day and 200 fags (called blue liners) when the ship/boat was in dry dock.

Now they say it's all wrong, you STUPID foolish people. I reckon the only reason these stupid obsversations are now in place is to keep people alive longer as then you end up paying more taxes in the long run (WTF do you have to pay tax on a pension?).

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not guidelines - yet

These are the _proposed_ guidelines that have been made available today.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/health-risks-from-alcohol-new-guidelines

You have until April to tell Gov what you think.

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Pint

Re: not guidelines - yet

You have until April to tell Gov what you think.

I hav red wat yoooo *hic* wrote an'..... *hic* I luv you!!!

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Pint

Three pints

is only a lot if you're drinking it every single day

Also, eventually the mortality rate is 100%, whether you drink or not.

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Re: Three pints

"Also, eventually the mortality rate is 100%, whether you drink or not."

I will put that right - "Also, eventually the mortality rate is 100%, whether you are drunk or not".

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Anonymous Coward

Good grief!

It's your life, do what you want and don't listen to these motherhood quango quacks!

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No offence, but after reading this article and the one about smart meters, it just makes me glad that our (Canadian) government isn't alone in its ability to make monumentally stupid decisions and proclamations all in the name of showing how much they care, and not so much in the name of actually doing anything useful. Sometimes misery DOES love company.

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