Gransnet forums


Alcohol v Cigarettes

(19 Posts)
Chestnut Sat 14-Sep-19 16:12:22

Can anyone explain why alcohol should not receive the same treatment as cigarettes, i.e.
1. Locked away in a dark cupboard so no-one can see the bottles.
2. All bottles and cans labeled the same with drab khaki coloured labels and no information to help the customer decide.
3. No help from the shop staff about what they’re selling.

Instead we have half the supermarket given over to brightly labeled bottles of alcohol of every type, on open shelves, with plenty of information provided.

I appreciate that smokers shouldn’t affect non-smokers by blowing smoke over them, but neither should drinkers affect non-drinkers by their drunken behavior.

Alcohol is a huge social problem with street fights and domestic abuse, whereas cigarettes have never caused anyone to behave aggressively. Alcohol affects your behaviour, cigarettes don’t. Therefore alcohol is a much greater social problem than cigarettes.

Both are bad for you and both create a huge demand on our NHS.

So why are we demonising cigarettes and promoting alcohol?

KatyK Sat 14-Sep-19 16:41:12

Maybe cigarettes are considered more dangerous to health. If I fill in a health questionnaire, it always asks if I smoke, rarely if I drink. Similarly with health insurance.

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 16:43:23

This has been my argument for years !
I am a smoker and we're now treated like pariahs, though I never smoke in public, only at home but I certainly don't disturb anyone nor do I inflict anyone with my habit.

Vapes will be the next thing to have health warnings which is something else I told those I know who went on to it in favour of tobacco. Vapes never had the testing that tobacco had, it remained an unknown quantity until all the deaths that have been recorded recently.

I've never filled a hospital bed and have only been admitted 3 times in the whole of my nearly 79 years.
I don't drink, therefore I could really kick-off at those who do and who are invariably against smokers.
It's a coping mechanism for me,personally as I'm also against medication as a crutch too.

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 16:46:45

The test would be to those who drink, could you do without it ??

KatyK Sat 14-Sep-19 16:49:19

Ellan I drink but have never smoked but I am not against smokers. My DH used to smoke, so did my dad and brother. My son in law still does. I think it's a shame to see smokers being treated like lepers, standing outside pubs etc smoking. My dad would turn in his grave. I love British pubs and they were always about smoking as well as drinking. The smoke never bothered me. My attitude was if you don't like the smoke, don't go in. This doesn't apply where food is served obviously.

Anniebach Sat 14-Sep-19 17:08:53

I agree chestnut. We know there are people who drink alchol and because of their drunkenness carry out abuse, never heard of cigarettes causing the smoker to abuse

Chestnut Sat 14-Sep-19 17:15:43

Maybe cigarettes are considered more dangerous to health. If I fill in a health questionnaire, it always asks if I smoke, rarely if I drink. Similarly with health insurance.

So presumably it's okay if you're an alcoholic, as long as you don't smoke.

KatyK Sat 14-Sep-19 17:16:45

Well, it's just that they don't seem to ask.

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 17:20:59

I agree KatyK, look at the old chimneys we used to have billowing smoke and soot particles, the thick fogs and the smoky pubs, but no-one had allergies like there are now.
Police officers arrest drunks and not smokers and it's they who have the unnecessary task of dealing with them then the staff at A&E, again, not the smokers.

My dad smoked and loved his pint at the local gabbing to all the surrounding neighbours. They didn't do anyone any harm.
I don't smoke many at all, don't get colds and never have a bad chest. If they had an adverse effect I'd stop. Alcohol goes straight into the blood stream and poisons the liver which has to work overtime to try and purify the blood that travels to every organ in your body.
Drunkenness is the poisoning effect of alcohol. As you get older the alcohol can't/doesn't assimilate the same and does cause cancer in many people, but I'll leave it for them to find that out.

I've seen too many people in the past whose lives have been ruined by alcohol both medically/physically and families driven apart.

Chestnut Sat 14-Sep-19 17:21:28

Vapes never had the testing that tobacco had, it remained an unknown quantity until all the deaths that have been recorded recently.

Apparently there is a substance called tocopheryl-acetate which is not allowed in the UK as we have stricter regulations than the USA. I might be wrong but I think the deaths were in the USA and connected with that substance.

Tweedle24 Sat 14-Sep-19 17:25:45

Much easier to become addicted to nicotine than alcohol. Of course, the latter does happen and I have family members who are alcoholics, so know the harm it can do. However, the majority of people drink moderately and sensibly.

KatyK Sat 14-Sep-19 17:27:37

My father was a chain smoking alcoholic. The smoking never caused any problems for us, his family. The drinking ruined our childhoods and left us all with problems in our adult life.

BlueBelle Sat 14-Sep-19 17:46:26

The question why cigarettes and not alcohol because although they both have the means to harm your health EVERY cigarette is actually doing you harm whereas alcohol in small to reasonable amounts isn’t ...someone who has a glass of wine with a meal or a few drinks at birthdays or Christmas isn’t doing themselves the harm that a daily smoker is doing
Alcohol is no where near as addictive as cigarettes although the end product of an addicted alcoholic is much more
harmful and physically dangerous to all around than a smoker
Vaping is just a means of swapping one addiction for another and looks and smells horrible and really it is unknown what harm they will eventually do

Jane10 Sat 14-Sep-19 17:48:00

I do think that we have a massive blind spot about alcohol. It's toxic, it's addictive, it can lead to cancer, it's use is involved in all sorts of dangerous activities from drunk driving to fights, stabbings etc etc.
Yet we egg each other on to 'have a wee G&T or glass of white'. We happily refer to 'lightweights' on nights out and gleefully relate our various drunken exploits. I've done all of these but now look back and am horrified at my sheer stupidity.

Chestnut Sat 14-Sep-19 18:11:42

Jane 10 excellent post. It's considered 'cool' to drink excessively, and so amusing if you can't remember what you did the night before! I worry about youngsters who are goaded by their mates into drinking huge quantities. They sometimes consume more alcohol than their body can cope with in one night and can drop dead on the spot. No-one ever dropped dead from smoking too many cigarettes in one evening. Another reason why alcohol is more dangerous.

EllanVannin Sat 14-Sep-19 18:50:24

Cigarettes on an airline were never as dangerous a alcohol is now. Nearly every day we read about some slob or other being removed because of putting people's lives in danger. Drink should be banned the same as cigarettes were !!

farview Sat 14-Sep-19 21:51:18

I like/, appreciate..good wines.. wouldnt be good if unable to read re the area/grape..bit of a 'mean' far could we take this...cover up all sniffers...cakes/biscuits/sugar re diabetics...or weight strugglers!!!!

Jane10 Sat 14-Sep-19 21:54:59


NanaMacGeek Sat 14-Sep-19 22:37:08

I lived at home when my parents gave up smoking. Both were jittery and short tempered but it didn't last long. They never smoked again.

My DS lived with DH and me when recovering from alcohol dependence. There is no comparison. Trying to recover from alcohol addiction is brutal and requires real courage, it goes on and on. Then, there is the rebuilding of his life and fear of relapse when things aren't going too well.

My tee-total neighbour, a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer, she took her chances. Smokers are lucky to stay well, as are the majority who enjoy alcohol in moderation and do not become addicted.

The messages around the dangers of cigarette smoking have been around for some time, I think they are being heard. I hope that there will come a time when 'getting hammered' becomes socially unacceptable. DH and I miss having good wine but I'd rather my DS is well and sees that we are comfortable to be tee-total with him. Certainly the (alcoholic) drinks industry is waking up to the need for interesting, grown-up, low alcohol and alcohol free alternatives to their products. It's a start.