I get it. Smoking is bad. Honestly. It tastes bad, it smells bad, it’s the overall leading cause of preventable death. It’s been years now since they upped the price of cigarettes by 500%, and they also removed the ‘main concern’ ingredient warnings of tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and benzene emission numbers from the side of packages . They removed these because they worried that having them on there would lull us silly smokers into a false sense of security by having us think that by choosing a product with lower numbers, we would be safer —- no, now we just have no freaking idea what those #’s are.
And now they have also enforced a ‘plain packaging’ in brown. No longer can I ask for Export A ‘Gold’ or ‘Blue’ but I can ask for Export A ‘smooth’. They have also removed any fancy lettering or embossing and it is now just plain text. Also no text at all on the cigarette itself.
I’m ok with this. If the ugliness helps people to despise smoking, give it up or never start then awesome. I’m fine with not looking at the list of poisons I’m inhaling, as for the pictures – those have been on there forever now and I’m sort of desensitized, likewise the insert that provides a toll-free number and website etc. of How to Quit comes in different colours and we each guess what colour it’s going to be before we open the pack. Sort of fun right?
Anyhow – what myself and Mr. Grumpy Purple Unicorn are less ok with is this:
How come there’s no picture on here of a person being punched in their face by their drunk partner? Or I dunno… someone with liver failure, or some 22 year old protruding from a car window?
You might say ‘Well hey now, you know most people can moderate their drinking really well!’ – well isn’t that special! However according to this article of systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 published in 2018 it says: Among the population aged 15–49 years, alcohol use was the leading risk factor globally in 2016, with 3·8% (95% UI 3·2–4·3) of female deaths and 12·2% (10·8–13·6) of male deaths attributable to alcohol use. And never mind the fact that ONE time of accidentally over-drinking can cause death.
Drinking is so normalized that they name wines in relation to retro housewife stereotypes like this Mad Housewife wine.
If you go to a gathering and say “No thank you” to the ceremonial wine poured into your glass it often is followed up by a “Just a little bit? We’re having a toast.” or “Oh, would you like something else then? Perhaps a beer or a rye and soda?” Once they hear the response of “No, I actually don’t drink any alcohol at all” they follow up with either “Good for you, I really shouldn’t drink either but really I don’t drink very much, I moderate.” (as though some sort of guilt makes them feel as though they need to express some sort of camaraderie or something?) Or it’s an outright “Oh why – do you have a drinking problem?” Since quitting drinking I have been FAR more aware of this happening, as well as VERY aware of how often I did that to others.
Alcohol doesn’t just kill the people who drink it via the direct route of health related issues. There is harm caused by drinking and driving, injuring oneself while impaired, and the very common effect of injuring others while in a drunken rage or neglect/risk of harm of children due to alcohol. There is also the less talked about but HUGE implication of all the mental health issues, as stated in this article Neurotransmitters in alcoholism: A review of neurobiological and genetic studies –
“alcohol is a powerful drug. It affects several neurological pathways and causes significant changes in the brain. Some of the neurological pathways known to be affected by alcohol consumption include the dopaminergic, serotoninergic, γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and glutamate pathways.” In fact according to this article What is the most dangerous drug? Alcohol takes top place when you add up all the factors of harm to users as well as harm to others. Passing out drunk, becoming vulnerable, choking on one’s vomit, poor choices made that affect you for a lifetime due to drinking.
It’s also worth saying also that there is a direct correlation to drinkers and smokers. In a study of ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO it showed many interesting links including one that Rose and colleagues (34) showed that drinking alcohol enhances the pleasure reported from smoking cigarettes. This study was from 2007 but there are other related studies that show similar findings that you can find if you poke about. This study just sort of expressed these findings well in layman’s terms.
Alcohol has been proven to be the ‘gateway drug’ in this article – Prioritizing Alcohol Prevention: Establishing Alcohol as the Gateway Drug and Linking Age of First Drink With Illicit Drug Use .
If you want to read a good full summary and don’t have access to pubmed documents then read here: The REAL Gateway Drug is 100% Legal ”
“Alcohol was the most widely used substance among respondents, initiated earliest, and also the first substance most commonly used in the progression of substance use,” the researchers concluded .
All of this but alcohol is still wrapped up in such a pretty little package of deception.
I’m not calling for prohibition – but maybe alcohol should also come with a warning? A number to call for help? Maybe Those in Control should go after the alcohol companies and force a crack down on the fancy labelling and luring deceptive descriptions? Maybe they should show a picture of a child crying while the parent is passed out and unable to care for them? Or instead of the funny media references in television shows , the trendy stereotyping in ads or sexy happy times in music videos they should show the accuracy of the risks of it. You know, so that in Real Life ™ (and we know real life mimics media far more than media mimics real life) people can stop laughing at alcoholism as normal and stop pushing drunkenness as regular ‘good time’ behaviour.
Of course that wouldn’t happen because drinking is SO ingrained into us as part of our culture that many of our politicians and higher ups have also been afflicted with alcoholism and of course the money made from the production of alcoholic beverages is too hard to part with.
Just my thoughts at 5:30 am on a Friday morning.