Before I start: I'm a non-smoker
. I abhor
the smell of cigarette smoke
. I enjoy a beer
or a glass of wine
Having said that, I'd like to offer an alternative point of view, if I may:
Smoking is disgusting : Fine, albeit a tad subjective. One could equally argue that drinking the product of the fermentation/distillation of various grains and grapes is also "disgusting". Alcohol is toxic. Does it cause cancer? We'll let the experts give their opinion below.
Every time a person smokes, they affect not only their own health, but the health of those around them.: True. In California, smoking in public places is banned. People have to smoke outside a bar or restaurant. This is a good idea. Even so, you could argue that the smoke still affects other people. Well, gas-guzzling SUV's carrying a single person around all day affect the air we breathe to an unreasonable extent too. Low rider cars with booming sub-woofers affect other people unreasonably. Drunken revellers affect other people.
The tobacco industry is built upon a lie: Shock, horror - 'Big Industry built upon lie!' But seriously, with reference to this paragraph: sed -e "s/tobacco/alcohol/g".
Drinking does not immediately adversely affect others within the drinker's proximity: Alcohol-related incidents account for a large proportion of the total road deaths and injuries every year. Statistics, anyone? Alcohol-related violence, both in the home and outside, affects a lot of people too. No one ever beat up their wife after smoking too many cigarettes. No one ever crashed their car and killed innocent people because they had "one more (cigarette) for the road". No one ever got into a fight in a bar because they'd smoked too much. People don't walk down the street at 3am singing loudly and comitting mindless acts of vandalism through smoking a few.
Moderate drinking may actually have some positive health benefits.: True. So does drinking more water than the average adult does.
It is possible to be a "social drinker".: Also true. I guess it's down to responsibility, both to yourself and others. This applies equally to smoking or drinking.
Anyway, I'm off for a pint now.