Drinking two large glasses of wine or two strong pints of beer a day triples the risk of mouth cancer and doubles blood pressure risk, warns a TV advertising campaign.
The campaign has cautioned that it is easy for one glass of wine at the end of the day to turn into two or three
Drinking "just a little more than they should" puts people at risk of serious illness including heart disease, stroke and cancer, the government said.
A TV advertising campaign is being launched to press home the message.
People "should not regularly exceed" the daily limit of three to four units for men and two to three for women.
In addition to the Change4Life campaign, the government released details of a poll of 2,100 people looking at what was known about the risks linked to drinking too much.
Among the findings, the poll revealed 85 percent of those questioned did not realize it increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
In addition, 66 percent did not know it increases bowel cancer risk, 59 percent did not known about the raised risk of mouth, throat and neck cancer and 37 percent did not realize it reduces fertility.
The campaign, which also has a website and leaflets offering tips on how to drink less - such as having booze-free days or just using smaller glasses.
"Drinking too much is a major public health issue," Chief Medical Officer for England Prof Dame Sally Davis said.
"This campaign highlights how easy it can be to use a glass of wine or beer to unwind at the end of a busy day but these drinks stack up and can increase your risk of high blood pressure, cancer or liver disease," Davis added.