17 million Brits set to cut down on alcohol following last year's Christmas hangovers

Over a third (35 per cent) of Brits, equating to over 17 million people, plan to cut down on alcohol this Christmas after regretting some of their drunken behaviour from last year's festive party season, according to a new poll from Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon.

A further 16 per cent are more likely to feel like never drinking again over the festive season than at any other time of year.

Amongst the most common 'morning after' regrets are inappropriate flirting with colleagues or friends (15 per cent), kissing under the mistletoe (12 per cent), revealing a secret (13 per cent) and making a phone call or text (11 per cent), according to the 4,000 Brits polled.

The survey shows that more than five and a half million people have fallen into the mistletoe trap, with the most people regretting kissing somebody after one too many in Northern Ireland (19 per cent) and the least in the East Midlands (6 per cent). Residents further south will be too busy attempting to impress on the dance floor, with London boasting the highest percentage of people (11 per cent) who regret pulling out their signature dance move after a few drinks.

More worryingly, more than a whopping four million people have lost phones, wallets or keys on nights out over the festive season. And 3.5 million people felt like calling in sick to recover the morning after a festive night out.

The younger generations are more likely to want to avoid some of the mistakes of last year. More than two fifths intend to drink less alcohol (45 per cent of 18-24 year olds) in order to avoid some of the embarrassment from last year, compared with less than a third of their parents' generation (31 per cent of over 55s). Two fifths of Londoners are regretting last year's indiscretions and plan to swap some of their mulled wine for a soft drink on a night out (42 per cent).

Anthony Newman, director of marketing at Cancer Research UK said: "As Christmas party season kicks off across the country it seems that people are trying hard not to get caught in the same drink-fuelled mishaps they did last year – which can often mean embarrassing evenings in the company of colleagues and some very sore heads the morning after.

"We're encouraging everyone to bin the booze in the New Year and make January a month of clear heads and good causes by taking part in Cancer Research UK's Dryathlon, to raise money for the fight against cancer."

The results are released as the 2013 festive party season gets into full swing, and before Dryathlon kicks off for the second time in January 2014. The fundraising campaign encourages people to take a month off to raise money for Cancer Research UK, and raised over £4 million in its debut year.

Dryathlon will be running from 1 to 31 January 2014 and registrations are open now at dryathlon.org.

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