Cigarettes and Liquor…

There was a story on the radio the other day, talking about drinking and driving.  It’s the first time I’ve heard someone else state something that I’ve been saying for a long time – that "they" (government, politicians, corporations, whoever) are battling to essentially outlaw cigarettes, which although are deadly to the smoker, only affects others around them in small increments.  And although studies are always saying that second-hand-smoke is killing x-number of people a year, it’s NOTHING compared to the number of people being killed by drunk drivers.  YET, alcohol is entirely ignored by our legal system.

Yes, IGNORED.  Cops impound cars and arrest drunk drivers.  Courts take away drivers licenses, impose fees, and sometimes put those drivers in jail.  They put these people through classes and rehab, they do everything they can to help these people who are caught driving drunk.  These people get their cars back, they get their licenses back, they get to go back to the bars and drink more that same day.  They pay the same amount for a shot or a beer or a mixed drink that they did a year earlier.  Sure, the cost of alcohol had and does go up, but it’s NOTHING compared to the price of cigarettes.

I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, I don’t do much of anything – but I’ve tried it all.  And the truth is – I’m NOT against any of it!  If you want to drink, smoke, do drugs, gamble, whatever – go do it!  I completely believe in a person’s right to do what they wish.  And if that means drinking or smoking or gambling, so be it.  HOWEVER… if "we" are going to persecute people for doing these things, let’s focus on the ones that affect OTHER people, not the person partaking of that one thing.  In this case, I think about that one drunk driver who ends up killing someone on the road, yet the drunk lives.  Well, the person that was killed is affected, as is their family.  Husbands, wives, children, friends, parents.  They are all affected DIRECTLY because one person decided to drive drunk.  All of the people affected, all of the pain, suffering, loss… yet the government hardly touches alcohol.

Now, what about tobacco?  My father died of lung cancer from smoking since he was 10 years old.  Almost my entire family smoked during my growing up.  Yes, I’m sure there’s some affect to my health, but guess what – I’m still alive.  My friends, family, and loved ones all still have me around to annoy them :)  I’m not dead – even though almost everyone around me smoked like chimneys.  Yet, the government keep raising the taxes on cigarettes.  They restrict advertising, they sue "big tobacco", they cause so much press and publicity trying to make smoking a terrible, awful drug.  But what about alcohol?

Do people actually think that alcohol is NOT as bad as tobacco?!  Please…

So what I’m saying is… raise the taxes and prices of alcohol, make alcohol the demon that they’ve made cigarettes.  When a car is impounded because someone is driving drunk – TAKE the car.  Seize it.  It’s GONE.  Make the punishment fit the crime.  Force people to drink at home, or hire cars to drive them home.  Make it so expensive to drink that people can’t go get completely plastered beyond belief.  Make liquor so expensive that kids can’t afford it, and it won’t be so prevalent at under-age parties.

I don’t think this is so much to ask.  Just think about the tax implications; that’s A LOT of money that could be coming if in they raised liquor taxes the say they have tobacco taxes.  We’d be able to pay off the national debt in no time!  Families wouldn’t have broken homes because of an alcoholic father, and wives wouldn’t be beat at the hands of an drunk, abusive husband.  I don’t know how many families are torn apart because dad smokes too much.  Or how many women and children get beatings because the dad has been smoking all day.  This isn’t rocket science.  We need to fix this problem.