Reducing your risk of harm from alcohol

To reduce your cancer risk, we recommend you:

  • limit how much alcohol you drink
  • or better still, avoid drinking alcohol altogether. 

If you drink alcohol, we recommended you stay within National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines, which advise:

  • no more than 2 standard drinks a day (for healthy men and women) to reduce the long term harm from alcohol.
  • no more than 4 standard drinks on a single occasion to reduce the risk of long term harm from alcohol.

Find out more about the NHMRC guidelines for alcohol consumption.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains 10 grams of alcohol. Alcoholic drinks sold in Australia are required to state on the label the approximate number of standard drinks they contain. You can use this information to estimate how much alcohol you are drinking.

Different types of alcoholic drinks contain different amounts of alcohol.

One standard drink is equal to:
• One 375ml can or stubbie of mid-strength beer
• 100ml of wine (13.5% alcohol)
• 30ml of spirits
• One 250ml can of full strength pre-mix spirits (5% alcohol)

Pouring your own drinks and avoiding ‘rounds' make it easier to keep track of how much you drink.

Tips to reduce your drinking
Here are some tips for drinking at low-risk levels:

• Aim to have a few alcohol-free days a week
• Limit how much alcohol you keep at home
• Swap to low- or no-alcohol alternatives
• Set limits for yourself and stick to them
• Start with non-alcoholic drinks and alternate with alcoholic drinks
• Drink slowly
• Eat before or while you are drinking
• If you participate in rounds of drinks, try to include some non-alcoholic drinks
• Water down alcoholic drinks with ice

For more tips on reducing your drinking, visit the Alcohol.Think Again website.