‘In 30 Years, Society Will Look At Alcohol Like We Look At Tobacco Today’

Time to put down the bottle?

A viral Tweet has us questioning whether alcohol consumption rates will fall drastically in the coming years just like smoking tobacco did.

Alcohol is ingrained in our culture; most of us kick back with a beer or glass of wine after work or treat ourselves to lavish cocktails on the weekends. It’s a societal norm. But there was a time when cigarettes were a social norm too.

Of course, some people still smoke tobacco today but it’s not as popular as it was a few decades ago. In fact, smoking was pretty popular up until the early 2000s (when most Western countries banned smoking in enclosed public areas, like bars and restaurants) despite the US Surgeon General announcing that smoking caused lung cancer and other major health issues in 1964.

Yes, it took the general public over thirty years to stop smoking even though we knew it was extremely harmful. Flash forward to today and we know that alcohol isn’t all that healthy for us and yet we still regularly drink up.

But will there come a time when alcohol falls by the wayside just like cigarettes did?

Rex Woodbury, Partner at Index Ventures (a venture capital firm), certainly thinks so. Woodbury took to Twitter and wrote, “I honestly think in 30 years society will look at alcohol like we look at tobacco today. You can already see it starting – Gen Z consumes 20% less alcohol than Millennials did at the same age.”

Smoking has become extremely unpopular in recent years; especially among younger generations. Will alcohol suffer the same fate? Image Credit: AFP

We’re not sure where Woodbury got that statistic from, but his Tweet certainly is thought-provoking. So much so, that it instantly went viral with hundreds commenting whether they agreed or not about Gen Z potentially phasing out alcohol like Gen Xers and Millenials began phasing out cigarettes.

Many did agree with Woodbury and replied that alcohol consumption rates have definitely dropped in the younger generation. Twitter user @SnarkyGenerally wrote, “My 23 yr old (who lives in NYC) and his friends go out to bars, half of them don’t drink. Those that do certainly don’t drink like my friends did at that age. It’s about being social and they don’t need alcohol for that.”

Although some suggested that Gen Z don’t drink as much alcohol because they prefer drugs. One Twitter user wrote, “Higher pot usage is the reason,” while another commented, “That’s because they all eat edibles, take fentanyl, or shrooms.”

A few disagreed completely and argued that alcohol isn’t as detrimental to health as cigarettes are. For example, Twitter user @MichaelTant3 replied, “I only disagree because there are ways to drink alcohol mindfully and intentionally and in ways that elevate community and familial experiences. There are no such ways to enjoy cigarettes.”

As for us, we’re not sure whether alcohol will be phased out or universally regarded as ‘bad’ anytime soon; recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that less than 6% of Australians suffering from mental health issues were willing to cut out alcohol even though it would improve their mental state…

If that’s not an indication of society’s current relationship with alcohol, we don’t know what is. Nor do we know what future generations will think of alcohol consumption; alas, only time will tell.

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