Alcohol vs Tobacco: which is more harmful at society level & one's health level?

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menuhin

Preferred Member
Oct 21, 2014
642
0
I always think this way:

With some misuse of alcohol, it is possible to quite quickly harm human lives, be it drunk driving, bar fights or domestic abuse by alcoholics or other related events. In the long run, over-consumption of alcohol is also harmful to the liver, the heart and the body in many ways, and indirectly causing various deadly diseases.
Tobacco consumption on the other hand, affects nobody if one can enjoy it discretely. It is harmful in a sense that it is an important risk factor for various diseases. Users are warned of its health related problem and suggested to regulate consumption to certain degrees, which is actually similar to the case of alcohol consumption for adults.
Tobacco, in particular smoking of tobacco, is ferociously banned and restricted by laws but it is not the case for alcohol. What is the logic usually behind these legislation?

 

dustmite

Member
Mar 5, 2015
263
0
Use of alcohol isn't very harmful in my opinion. ABUSE of alcohol is. But I do think alcohol is more dangerous to society.

 

huntertrw

Preferred Member
Jul 23, 2014
3,858
0
The Lower Forty of Hill Country
menuhin:
I've never known anyone to smoke a pipe of pipe-tobacco, and then (as a result) get in the car and cause injury or death. I've never known anyone to smoke a pipe of pipe-tobacco, and then (again, as a result) beat or kill their fellow man. Sadly, the same cannot be said of alcohol.

 

brudnod

Preferred Member
Aug 26, 2013
938
0
Great Falls, VA
As a physician who does swing shifts AND loves a bit of bourbon it is obvious that the timing of partaking is critical and measured. The partaking of tobacco is less so, although I would rather not smell like tobacco when meeting parents of the babies I take care of. So, in short, I agree with dustmite.

 

kanaia

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2013
455
0
I've never seen or heard of any man beating his wife after smoking tobacco either.

 

northernneil

Preferred Member
Jun 1, 2013
1,390
0
Hate to break it to you guys, but it ain't the alcohol making those decesion's, its the individual.

 

frozenchurchwarden

Preferred Member
Mar 1, 2014
1,959
8
I choose option three: Continually lowering expectations of self control.
People are destroying themselves these days just because they can, regulation of the tools of destruction does nothing to stop people from being destructive.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,347
28
I've heard of cases of people being beaten over tobacco. I know of one homicide caused by a failure to share tobacco. A beating death involving two winos. So, one strike against each vice on that one. I'm also personally aware of numerous assaults in which a tobacco product was the cause.
Up here driving under the influence will net you three days in jail, deprivation of the vehicle and a substantial fine. Smoking in a prohibited area will net a small fine.
Alcohol use is banned in municipal parks in my part of the world. Also, schools, hospitals, detox centers, public streets and sidewalks, heck I'd need a set of ordinances to list them all.
There are heavy taxes on liquor. I think you are off base on this one. Booze is highly regulated and taxed. The social stigma of liquor is not quit that of tobacco is all. We smoke, so we feel the pinch and carp about it. The old adage about oxes being gored certainly applies. We smokers just feel so put upon when savaged by the press, government, spouses, family, friends, strangers, and the social engineers.
Your use of the word "discrete" is key. If we all just smoked at home, unseen and unsmelled by others the problem would probably go away. Not really, as long as we have abrogated our health care to the government, that government and its taxpayers will want a say so in how we live our lives. That's a tradeoff we have to accept. A substantial part of the public want cradle to grave government oversight and care; and that comes with a hefty price, over and above the taxes.

 

zekest

Preferred Member
Apr 1, 2013
1,137
0
Tobacco by far. A well respected member of this forum recently posted that tobacco is far more addictive than heroin. The nicotine in tobacco is also a well documented gateway drug leading to further addictions and increasing societal problems resulting in increased health care costs that all citizens must ultimately pay for.
The nicotine in tobacco leads to poor judgement and debt related to the hoarding and stock-piling of tobacco by addicted people who are racked with the fear that the big bad government will restrict their ready availability of tobacco that drives their self-inflected addiction.

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,921
91
It seems like apples and oranges to me. Alcohol and tobacco are both choices that have benefits (pleasures) and risks. Both require responsible decision making. And I might add, categorically prohibiting either one doesn't seem to result in the intended benefit. Moderation, self-control, responsibility -- yes.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,347
28
It is apples and oranges of course! But, that is what people do, expand the discussion so as to take pressure off their position.
It is impossible to hold a discussion about smoking without someone saying: "But, what about (insert item here)? I don't like people doing __________ and no one regulates that! "Why everybody always pickin on me? Charlie Brown . . . . He's a clown!"

 

mcitinner1

Preferred Member
Apr 5, 2014
4,044
0
Missouri
"tobacco is far more addictive than heroin"
Sorry but I don't agree with whoever said this. I've never tried heroin in my life time, but read a lot about it. I smoked cigs for 42 years before starting with pipes. For me, pipes supply more nicotine than cigs did and yet I don't ever crave a bowl like I did a cigarette. Just my opinion.

 

puffy

Preferred Member
Dec 24, 2010
2,437
3
North Carolina
Society doesn't agree that those who smoke only hurt them selves.Folks love to talk about second hand smoke.This allows them to call private business public places and ban smoking in them.You can sit in a sports stadium and drink all you want to but you can't smoke there.Same situation in sports bars..On a personal note I watched my father for 15 years battle alcohol addiction before he finally managed to over come it,and remain sober.

 

beastkhk

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2015
327
0
Have to be careful.
Nicotine is said to be more addictive than heroine. Tobacco has nicotine, but that doesn't by default mean tobacco is more addictive.
I would be curious if that study everyone references has something to do with an effective dose too. i.e. for lack of a better term, a "serving" a nicotine might be 2mg whereas a serving of heroine might be how ever many cc's it take to fill a syringe. All things being equal if it takes less nicotine to get to the same level of addiction as heroine; nicotine could be said to be more addictive by weight/volume. (I don't know if a cig=2mg nicotine, was just an arbitrary number chosen)

 

mso489

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
25,921
91
How about rage? It's dangerous. It's addictive. It can kill you at an early age through behavior, heart attack or stroke. It does illustrate that some potentially self destructive behavior emerges from within, not as an external substance. Still, we all get angry at times, and sometimes that's good and we should.

 

beastkhk

Senior Member
Feb 3, 2015
327
0
Regarding second hand smoke. Probably not the best source of information, but there was a show called Penn and Teller-Bullshit on Showtime(currently on Amazon Prime if you have a membership) which one of the episodes goes over how there are no scientific studies which prove second hand smoke causes all the detrimental health conditions we have been told. The only study with such findings was by the EPA and was later thrown out by the courts as it was statistically insignificant.
There may have been additional findings since, but I found it very interesting.

 

warren

Preferred Member
Sep 13, 2013
7,347
28
Addiction depends on the individual's physical and mental makeup. An addictive personality is certainly going be more easily seduced by tobacco, Pepsi, fast cars, heroin, loose women, and the like. There are two types of addiction, physical and mental.
I've never seen the study that opines nicotine as addictive as heroin. I have seen a study that offers, a physically and mentally addicted smoker has as tough a time getting and staying clean as a heroin addict. It was addressing the long term as opposed to the immediate physical withdrawal period. Long term, a person who was physically and mentally addicted to nicotine faces the same lure as a reforming heroin addict for the rest of their lives. Physically the body no longer needs the drug, it's the memory.