The Line Between Smoking and Drinking

An essay about the war against the tobacco industry and the allowance of alcohol.

It’s a given that smoking isn’t healthy behavior. It’s also a given that the United States isn’t exactly known for healthy behavior.

If someone chooses to continue smoking, or simply not to try to quit, I’m not going to argue with them. I won’t stand in the way of anyone – who is of age – exercising his/her constitutional rights. That said, I do applaud any smoker who makes the effort to quit. But I do not believe that anyone has the right to make the tobacco industry seem like the big evil of this nation.

Almost everything you come in contact with, even if it’s on the web or the television screen, is part of Corporate America. Money, marketing, and politics rule the roost. And the war against the tobacco industry is no different.

I personally believe that those who support the idea of banning smoking should turn their righteous war to something else. Namely, alcohol. If there is a “big evil” in our country that is legal and regulated, it is not tobacco products – it is alcohol.

Do I believe that alcohol should be banned, then? Honestly, as a recovering alcoholic, I have mixed feelings on that score. I believe we would live in a safer, saner world without alcohol, yet I would never stand in the way of anyone exercising their constitutional rights to use certain products – as long as they’re of age, and they use it responsibly.

Money plays the biggest role. If advertisers had the kind of contracts with the tobacco industry that they do with alcohol companies, it would be an entirely different story.

In many places presently, including certain sporting events, smoking is banned. Yet they continue to sell alcohol. In the last few years, I’ve been to a couple of Rock concerts, and the limit in my area for alcohol consumption at these shows is two drinks. But no one listens to that, and that rule isn’t enforced – at least it wasn’t when I was there; I saw several people dog drunk. You can’t smoke a cigarette in the building, but you can drink.

Fights break out at these events, and alcohol is usually involved. It is true that someone can start a fight for no other reason than being drunk. I’ve never heard of anyone fighting, and getting hurt, because of smoking.

A large number of drunk-driving incidents, sometimes resulting in at least one death, happens when the drivers are heading back from a Rock show. Fifteen years in the rock-and-roll business taught me that. Does anyone die on the way home because someone was smoking?

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  1. Great article.

  2. I would like to add that drinking and smoking is no good for anyone. All of it is bad in it’s own way. I see so many people that desire to stop smoking. It’s a strong addiction and not easy for some people to quit. I have seen chemotherapy patients smoking because they are addicted and it’s hard to stop. Some people have died smoking, and some have died drinking.

  3. Jason, I really appreciate this article. It some excellent points, and I wish you all of the best.

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