REACHING for that bottle of wine or pint of beer for that extra cheeky drink?
Put it down and think twice! It may just save your life.
A major new study suggests that every glass of wine or beer over the daily recommended limit - around fiver per week - will shave half an hour off the expected lifespan of a 40-year-old.
The report - hailed as "landmark" - indicates that once the limit has been breached, the consumer is running the risk of stroke, fatal aneurysm, heart failure and death.
"Above two units a day, the death rates steadily climb," Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk at the University of Cambridge David Spiegelhalter told the Guardian.
"The paper estimates a 40-year-old drinking four units a day above the guidelines has roughly two years' lower life expectancy, which is around a twentieth of their remaining life.
"This works out at about an hour per day. So it's as if each unit above guidelines is taking, on average, about 15 minutes of life, about the same as a cigarette."
The study coincides with calls for greater awareness of alcohol abuse with fears that excessive consumption is killing hundreds of Australians.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said many people were not fully aware of the serious risks associated with the overconsumption of alcohol.
Nearly 800 cancer cases and over 200 cancer deaths are contributed to alcohol consumption in the Sunshine State.
"People continue to have a very low awareness of the long-term health conditions associated with alcohol," Ms McMillan said referring to the recent Annual alcohol poll 2018.
"Of those surveyed, only 26 per cent of people were aware of the link between alcohol misuse and mouth and throat cancer and only 16 per cent were aware of the link to breast cancer.
"While around 69 per cent could link alcohol misuse with liver cancer, it's vital that more people become aware of all types of cancer, and chronic diseases, that can result from excessive drinking.
"In Queensland, approximately 200 female breast cancers, 170 colon cancers, 40 liver cancers and 185 oral cavity and pharynx cancers could be attributable to alcohol consumption annually.
"Any amount of alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing an alcohol-related cancer - and the risk increases in line with the amount of consumption.
"We recommend that to reduce their risk of cancer, people limit their consumption of alcohol."