Standards for cigarette ads need to be mimicked in alcohol advertising

With the culmination of the Superbowl and all the anticipation, the one thing besides the game that is most talked about is of course the time in between play.

This is sometimes the only reason some people watch the game – the commercials.

Now clearly football has been christened with an association for not only the game as a sport but influenced by a different game, the drinking game.

Superbowl parties have been taken to a new level during the past years, and they certainly don’t lack anything in the departments of booze, food and die-hard fans. More importantly how is it that companies are allowed to advertise for alcohol but tobacco advertising has been banned since 1971 on television and radio?

Cigarettes were distributed to returning soldiers from World War II, and although it was before my time, I’ve come across many Virginia Slim and Marlboro ads. But more familiar slogans my parents and grandparents would recognize are “Light up a Lucky,” and “For more pure pleasure, have a Camel!”

Since that era, many medical advances, studies and evidence have been conducted on the severe side effects of smoking cigarettes, and the poster child issue is certainly that it heightens an individual’s risk of lung cancer amongst many other detrimental health effects.

The solution for the tobacco industry was to slap on a label giving a generic caution of health warnings just like those listed on that beer you just cracked open after halftime of the game. But is that enough to justify how serious of an issue is at hand?

If you ask me, it’s an unequivocal, no. Maybe alcohol addiction, depression and other undesirable measures have to reach the status that cancer has before those epic Bud Light commercials are removed from television airtime.

I am aware that tossing back a couple cold ones doesn’t lead to cancer, but in excessive quantities it leads to misjudgment, bad decisions and reckless behavior.

How much of a difference is there if you kill yourself slowly by smoking or get behind the wheel of a car and you take someone else’s life or your own instantaneously? Both instances are worst case scenarios; however, it still doesn’t justify the myriad of AA meetings that are held, lung transplants for life-long smokers or the rise of alcohol as a vice, which may lead to alcoholism.

I can’t say that advertising for alcohol will follow suit as cigarettes, but the two word warnings on their commercials that are in small print to “drink responsibly” may need to be increased in font size because unlike in the “good ‘ole days,” no one sits close enough to the television to turn the knobs to change the channels let alone to read any source of fine print.