Archive for the ‘Drug’ Category

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Smoking Culture

August 21, 2010

In 1950s America, The Guardian UK describes smoking as the “epitome of cool and glamour“. Screen legends such as James Dean and Audrey Hepburn helped perpetual the “cool” culture and cigarettes were “cheap, legal and socially acceptable“. One of the most iconic advertisements was Philips Morris’ Malboro Man with the tagline “For man’s flavour come to Marlboro Country“.

After the link between lung cancer and other diseases to smoking, there has been a shift in the perception of the smoking culture. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, Manly and Mosman have now banned outdoor smoking. However Leidchardt mayor will not follow stating “There’s a strong cultural affinity for a lot of Italians with having a coffee and a cigarette“. The reinforces the stereotype that certain nationalities (e.g. Italians) have smoking as an integral part of their culture.

However as reported in The Culture of Smoking, poor African nations have seen a “surge in smoking is seen in young people under the age of 20 that constitute the majority of the continents population“. What draws them into the smoking culture? The article states “It starts with peer pressure, being exposed to second hand smoking, having parents and best friends who smoke. And for some, just simply to be cool“.

With the known health risks and the social stigma in society, will the smoking culture even vanish? I feel the smoking culture will always be part of current society. Even with certain drugs (e.g. heroin) made illegal, there are always people willing to find them and try. Cigarettes are much more readily available and it will appeal to a certain demographic of people.

References :

Smokers kicked to the kerb – then all over town
by Josephine Tovey- March 19, 2010
Sydney Morning Herald
http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/wellbeing/smokers-kicked-to-the-kerb–then-all-over-town-20100318-qifl.html

When smoking was cool, cheap, legal and socially acceptable
by Jason Rodrigues- April 1 2009
The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/apr/01/tobacco-industry-marketing

The Culture of Smoking
by Henok Semaegzer Fente, November 30 2009
http://www.voanews.com/zimbabwe/news/special-reports/The-Culture-of-Smoking-78153847.html

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Alcohol and Drinking Culture

August 18, 2010

The DrugInfo Clearinghouse states there are “social and cultural pressures” to drink alcoholic beverages as part of meals, celebrations, relaxation “and to have fun“. It also found there is a societal acceptance “that using alcohol at harmful levels or binge drinking is acceptable“. Binge drinking is the consumption of alcohol to become intoxicated. This is a negative aspect of the drinking culture which can cause serious health issue and other social issues (e.g. violence). A ninemsn reports “hangovers, headaches, nausea, shakiness” as well as “liver or brain damage“.

Drinking can be a social event, reducing inhibitions or enjoyment during a get together. The key to everything is moderation and control. NSW Drinking Campaign 1998 had a tagline which stated “Drink. Drunk. The difference is U“. It is fine to have enjoy a drink once in a while but getting drunk on a continual basis has health ramifications and like other drugs, can lead to other issues such as dependency. Alcoholism is the “dark side” of this culture and its effects can be devastating.

Prohibition (or the banning of alcohol) has proven historically to not be effective and drives the problem underground. Alcohol can be consumed responsibly, the key is understanding and hopefully society can define itself well enough to ensure that people know their limits and can drink without the need to get drunk.

References :

Wikipedia – Prohibition
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition

Drink Drunk Campaign
October 21, 1998
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/PARLMENT/hansArt.nsf/V3Key/LC19981021035

The effects of binge drinking
May 11, 2010
http://health.ninemsn.com.au/azindex/689748/binge-drinking

Alcohol and Society
by Staton Peele and Archie Brodsky – July, 1996
http://peele.net/lib/sociocul.html

Who drinks alcohol in Australia?
DrugInfo Clearinghouse
http://www.alcoholandwork.adf.org.au/browse.asp?ContainerID=who_drinks_alcohol