Cognitive Dissonance

No comments

If you are out to dinner and are offered a glass of wine you’ll most likely be questioned if you turn it down. We’ve been taught to believe that wine is good for us and drinking is essential to having a good time in social situations so how could you possibly turn down the drink, unless you have a problem. Alcohol is the only drug in the 21st century that people will questions you for not using.

In the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s when smoking was the norm, non-smokers were considered “health freaks”. People smoked in restaurants, on airplanes, in their cars. There was smoke everywhere. The question, if you were an adult, was not if you smoked but what brand you identified with.

In those years, we knew the smoking caused lung cancer but people were addicted and none expected that it “would ever happen to them”. Gradually over time, with media campaigns and more and more people succumbing to the ravages of cancer, the % of the population of people who smoke declined.

At some point, restaurants started having a “non-smoking” section but it was small and usually a less desirable section of the restaurant. Over time and into the ’90s that reversed. The smoking section became small and less desirable.

No smoking

Now, the smokers are the outcasts. Businesses no longer allow smoking inside their buildings and some not even on their property. Still, we feel sad for those who get lung cancer -even if they smoked- and we don’t look down on them disdainfully.


People have been dying from alcohol-related deaths and ruining their lives because of booze for longer than that! Yet, those that choose not to imbibe are the outcasts. How kooky is that?

In the 21st Century alcohol is everywhere and all the “cool kids” will insist that daily drinking is healthy, normal and needed.


I think there is some cognitive dissonance going on here. People don’t want to quit drinking because they think it is what they have to do, what they need to have fun and enjoy leisure time. When they see others enjoying life without booze, it contradicts those beliefs that justify their drinking. It makes then uncomfortable.

But where did we learn that we NEED to drink to have fun? To enjoy Life? To Adult? Maybe that message came from exactly the same place that the message about the need to smoke came from.

I think it started here…

1972 Time Magazine’s cover story for the November 27, 1972 issue is: American Wine: There’s Gold in them Thar Grapes


This article helped bring awareness of California wines to the nationIn 1972, the American adult will drink an average of 2.4 gallons of wine; at the same time, French adults consumed 29 gallons, and Italians 30 gallons each….

And now we’re here State of the Wine Industry Report 2019

Beginning in 1994, the US wine business experienced a long trend of increasing consumption and consistently higher price points. The growth and premiumization of wine were driven by the longest economic expansion on record, coincident with the baby-boom generation entering their peak retail spending years. That expansion was then magnified by a series of key findings linking improved health to wine consumption. Twenty-five years later, the US is the largest wine consuming country in the world,

And sadly here….

Do moms need too much wine? Women’s drinking habits spark concern

The rate of alcohol-related visits to U.S. emergency rooms spiked by almost 50 percent between 2006 and 2014, especially among women, the government announced in January.

From 2000 to 2015, death rates for chronic liver disease and cirrhosis — often associated with alcohol abuse — increased 57 percent for women 45 to 64 years old, and 18 percent for women ages 25-44, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Problem drinking rose by 83 percent among women between 2002 and 2013, according to a study published last year in JAMA Psychiatry, an increase the authors called “alarming.”

Rethink the Drink. Question the truth of the message you’ve been sold.

In a consumer society, there is no better product to sell than one that is addictive. Buyer beware.

More Reading :

Beat the Binge Drinking Routine

Most of us have no question that we are fighting addiction when we quit smoking. When we try to cut back on our drinking or stop drinking altogether, we’re fighting the same addictive brain.

Knowledge is Power!

Related Posts from the Boozemusings Community Blog :

Guide to your First Month of Sobriety : Why and How to Quit

Related posts from Inside the BOOM Community :

Sober Badassery

Alcohol the Bully 

If you’re Drinking too much too often Talk to Us

Private, anonymous, independent, free.

Rethink the Drink BOOM!

You have been sold the “normaility” and seeming “healthyness” of this

But the “health benefits” of daily drinking, more than a tiny bit, are actually the biggest lie we’ve been sold since this


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.