A Bottle of Wine Poses Same Cancer Risk as 10 Cigarettes, Study Suggests

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wine cancer study
Albina Kosenko / istockphoto

Bad news for boozers: Researchers are saying drinking wine is just as bad as smoking cigarettes. A study published in the medical journal BMC Public Health claims that women are just as likely to get cancer by drinking one bottle of wine per week as they would be if they smoked 10 cigarettes during the same time frame. The risk for men is equivalent to five cigarettes over seven days.

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For this study, researchers used national data from the U.K. and previously published resources to better understand the bridge between alcohol and cancer. According to their results, one bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1 percent in men and 1.4 percent in women — largely driven by breast cancer, the most common variation of the disease in women globally.

Don’t go dumping your vino down the sink just yet. Other studies have shown that drinking one glass per day could actually help you live longer, strengthen your immune system, clear your acne, improve your vision, prevent liver disease, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, stall dementia, strengthen your bones and even protect against cancer, among so many other things

“We must first be absolutely clear that this study is not saying that drinking alcohol in moderation is in any way equivalent to smoking,” the researchers said. “Smoking kills up to two-thirds of its users, and cancer is just one of the many serious health consequences.”

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Unlike the dangers of drinking, the health risks of tobacco are widely understood by the general public. It’s the leading cause of preventable death according to the CDC, and today over 70 percent of the world’s population knows that smoking puts you at high risk for cancer, as opposed to just 40 percent about 50 years ago. But alcohol and tobacco aren’t the only habits that put you at risk for disease. These everyday foods increase your likelihood of getting cancer, too.