Letter: Feeling confused by the figures? Blame it on the drink

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From Mr Paul Ashton

Sir: It is ironic that opposition to the new "safe" drinking limits should come from doctors ("Doctors' fury over 'safe' drink limits", 13 December). It was, after all, the research by Sir Richard Doll on the drinking habits and health of doctors which purported to show (statistically) that there were health benefits to be had from regular and "moderate" drinking of alcohol.

The real irony, however, is that it was the same Richard Doll who first produced statistical evidence in this country showing the relationship between smoking and cancer. Buried in that report was the fact that light smokers had lower morbidity and lower disability rates than did non-smokers.

Perhaps, then, we might yet see the health minister recommend regular and moderate smoking?

Yours faithfully,

Paul Ashton

Eastbourne, East Sussex

14 December

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