Study Shows Drinking A Bottle of Wine A Week Is The Same As Smoking 5 to 10 Cigarettes

Well, there goes my bottle of wine a week. It looks like wine lovers might want to think twice after a new study shows that drinking a bottle of delicious red wine a week is equivalent to smoking up to 10 cigarettes! Why is this bad? Well, it basically increases the risk of cancer, even if you’re a non-smoker. So yeah, yikes.

According to BMC Public Health, studies show that 10 cigarettes are the mark for women, while for men it’s 5 cigarettes. Their main finding was that drinking “is associated with an increase in absolute lifetime risk of alcohol-related cancers in women, driven by breast cancer.”

The study was conducted by researchers in the UK where a moderate level of drinking for women and men is 14 units of alcohol. Which is equal to 6 pints of beer, 7 glasses of wine or 14 shots of liquor. The risk of cancer includes parts of the body such as liver, bowl, and esophagus, this according to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, University of Southampton, and Bangor University.

I know, take a breath, let me give you a few examples here. In terms of absolute risk, researchers noted that one bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for nonsmokers of one percent for men and 1.4 percent with women. So, say you drink 3 bottles of wine a week, which might be a bit too excessive, but hey, you have your reasons, that is equivalent to smoking roughly 8 cigarettes per week for men and 23 cigarettes per week for women.


Researchers estimated if 1,000 nonsmoking men and 1,000 smoking women each drank one bottle of wine per week, around 10 men and 14 women would develop cancer as a result. If 1,000 men and 1,000 women drank three bottles of wine per week, well, then 19 men and 36 women could develop cancer as a result of the wine.

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This is pretty scary to hear since alcohol is generally perceived by people as being “far less harmful” than smoking. But, we do have to remember that heavy drinking is linked to cancer of the throat, mouth, voice box, gullet liver, breast, and bowel if we go overboard with our intake.

Yes, it’s all so confusing but they sort of make a valid point here. But, maybe it’s not just wine we’re talking about here, rather all alcohol in general? Who knows, honestly, these studies change every week. But, whether you choose to believe this study or not, I guess what all experts want you to know if you should be careful about how much you drink.

Moderation is key, after all.

Watch: The Health Benefits of Wine

Silke  Jasso About the author:
Silke Jasso is a bilingual editor, writer, producer, and journalist specialized in online media. Born in Laredo Texas, her previous works include LareDOS Newspaper where she was an editor and writer and Entravision Communications where she was a Co-Anchor and Multi-Media Journalist for Fox39 News and Univision 27.
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