PDA

View Full Version : Remember the 80s?



Jean
11-23-2010, 04:23 PM
I have question. My story is set in 1990, though I don't remember much about that time.

How common is teen smoking during that time? The minimum age to buy cigarette didn't set yet and I'm pretty sure it more common than nowadays, but how common?

And how about drink? I think minimum age was set already but you're not the first underage drinker, right? So how common.

And one more risky question. How about dope?

alleycat
11-23-2010, 04:32 PM
What location?

I don't think teen smoking was so much different then that it is now; perhaps a little more common back then. If you were talking about the 1950s it would be a different story.

And yes, like always, teens could find a way to get alcohol if they wanted it. Again, I don't think it would be so terribly different than nowadays.

Both of these things depend a lot on the family someone is from, the neighborhood where they live, the friends they hang out with, etc.

Jean
11-23-2010, 04:37 PM
Outskirt of big city; it's Edmonton, Canada.

illiterwrite
11-23-2010, 04:47 PM
On the outskirts of Edmonton, you'd probably find a lot of underage everything going on. I lived on the outskirts of Toronto in the 80s & 90s. Lots of drinking, lots of smoking, lots of dope.

blackrose602
11-23-2010, 06:13 PM
I'm not familiar with Canadian laws. I graduated from high school in 1991 in Orlando, FL. The official smoking age was 18 and the drinking age 21. Everyone I knew smoked and drank heavily--prep school kids, theater kids, homeless kids. Most people I knew started smoking around 13 or 14 and were binge drinking on the weekends by 15 or 16. Dope was enormously popular as well.

Cigarettes were super easy to buy. Grocery stores tended to card, gas stations didn't. Cigarette machines were everywhere, so that worked in a pinch (though a bit more expensive). Alcohol was harder to buy, but everyone knew someone over 21 who would purchase it. Plenty of small-time dope dealers all over the place, everybody knew how to get the stuff.

Kitti
11-23-2010, 06:28 PM
The only thing I really remember about smoking/alcohol/drugs from the 1980s is this commercial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FtNm9CgA6U&feature=related

Don't know if it aired in Canada or not, but 20+ years later and it's still part of my vocab so it made an impression :-)

Kenra Daniels
11-23-2010, 07:58 PM
I live in rural eastern Kentucky, and graduated HS in 1985. Roughly 1/3 of my graduating class of 200 smoked. Probably half drank at least occasionally. About 1/4 smoked pot at least occasionally. Harder drugs were rare, but the kids from wealthy families occasionally had coke.

In larger cities fairly nearby, the percentages of smoking and drinking were about the same, and pot was more popular, and harder drugs more available. I would expect the numbers were similar in other areas too.

illiterwrite
11-23-2010, 08:33 PM
I think in a typical suburban Canadian city in the eighties/early nineties, you wouldn't find a lot of hard drugs, at least not for high schoolers. I'm sure they were around, but I saw none of them. We drank on the weekends -- house parties, bush parties (outside), or at bowling (where they served you no matter what age you were). There was not much else to do. Almost everyone I knew smoked at parties or otherwise socially. You could sit in McDonald's after school & smoke. Lots of people smoked weed (though I didn't), some took acid or mushrooms. I graduated high school in 1989, just for the record. And I would say I did most of my drinking in high school. When I got to university I was sick of parties.

p.s. -- I was a straight-A, preppy student, as were most of my friends. Many of them were from wealthier families (we weren't).

KTC
11-23-2010, 08:36 PM
I lived in Toronto in the 80s (as well as its outskirts) and spent a great deal of time in small town NB. Both were the same. Lots of drinking, lots of smoking, lots of doping. It was the same in Montreal and its outskirts...I drifted around there for a while too. I'd say it was a mardi gras of all of the above.

illiterwrite
11-23-2010, 09:02 PM
Also, hash was very popular. Probably more popular than weed.

mscelina
11-23-2010, 09:07 PM
I have question. My story is set in 1990, though I don't remember much about that time.

How common is teen smoking during that time? The minimum age to buy cigarette didn't set yet and I'm pretty sure it more common than nowadays, but how common?

And how about drink? I think minimum age was set already but you're not the first underage drinker, right? So how common.

And one more risky question. How about dope?

Anything you really wanted to find, you could find. Hell, I was conning my way into bars in '84 by faking a British accent and demanding why they needed to see my passport.

*sigh* Being an actor was so much fun...

JulieHowe
11-23-2010, 10:15 PM
I have question. My story is set in 1990, though I don't remember much about that time.

How common is teen smoking during that time? The minimum age to buy cigarette didn't set yet and I'm pretty sure it more common than nowadays, but how common?

And how about drink? I think minimum age was set already but you're not the first underage drinker, right? So how common.

And one more risky question. How about dope?

In California, 18 was the age to buy cigarettes and 21 was the minimum age to buy alcohol. In 1990 I wasn't 21 years old yet, but I had no trouble finding alcohol. Cigarettes were still available in vending machines. (These are gone now.)

KTC
11-23-2010, 10:17 PM
Also, hash was very popular. Probably more popular than weed.

definitely! as evidenced by the discoloured knives in the cutlery drawer!

illiterwrite
11-23-2010, 10:31 PM
Drinking age in Canada is/was 19. I always got carded at the liquor/beer store, but I looked very young. I could never get into bars, but fake ID was big trade. As long as you had the ID, you were ok. I remember getting into a Forgotten Rebels concert with ID that said I was 35 and looked nothing like me -- I looked about 17 (I think I WAS 17). Cigarettes might have been set at 18 in 1990, but it was still easy to get them.

backslashbaby
11-23-2010, 10:33 PM
Not Canada, but in NC at the time, it sounds the same, lol.

Mostly hash, depending on which circles you were in -- that was the artsy circle, I'd say. Lots of pot in the town and probably about 1/4 of kids did it (or hash). At least half drank every weekend. Probably 1/3 smoked. Smoking was kind of a redneck (the good and the bad) thing and an artsy thing. Not too many Southern Baptists doing that, or drugs. The Catholics did, lol :D I was artsy.

Also shrooms, acid, poppers and the rich asses did coke (only knew asses who did that, as it happens). Some heroin, but that was pretty rare. You heard tales of meth but didn't know anyone who did it. Ecstasy wasn't around yet. No crack that I knew of, but who knows for the very inner city.

This is pretty much a high school perspective, btw. I have no idea what all the adults were up to.

eta: and opium, oddly. I don't know how common that was outside of my circles, because it seems so odd. It might just be a supplier quirk. The set I'm talking about was artsy, in NC and NYC, and it came from NYC.

Chris P
11-24-2010, 12:07 AM
Where I grew up in Iowa (graduated high school in 1989), the smoking age was 18 and the drinking age was 21. There were a number of "19 bars" around, where you could get in at 19 (which was the legal age until 1986) but you couldn't get served alcohol (yeah, right). My high school had a smoking area on the loading dock called "The Ashtray" where you could smoke between classes, but only if you were already 18 (yeah, right). Alcohol was pretty easy to get, while pot and acid were the drugs of choice for those who chose to, especially in the theater crowd I hung out with. There were a few people who did speed, but meth hadn't gotten big yet and cocaine and heroin were virtually unheard of.

KTC
11-24-2010, 12:19 AM
Drinking age in Canada is/was 19. I always got carded at the liquor/beer store, but I looked very young. I could never get into bars, but fake ID was big trade. As long as you had the ID, you were ok. I remember getting into a Forgotten Rebels concert with ID that said I was 35 and looked nothing like me -- I looked about 17 (I think I WAS 17). Cigarettes might have been set at 18 in 1990, but it was still easy to get them.


Oh god! I saw the Rebels a few times myself!

The last time I was carded, I was 33. (-:

Xelebes
11-24-2010, 01:00 AM
Outskirt of big city; it's Edmonton, Canada.

Are we talking Millwoods here? Ellerslie? Castledowns? Clareview? Neighbourhoods had different problems.

I'm most familiar with Millwoods because I lived there from 1986-1996. Cigarettes weren't so difficult to find in junior high and there was a problem of kids coming to school drunk or drinking in school in junior high. The kids got all their stuff from their parents. Pot was the most used illicit drugs and I have doubts the chemicals made their round then, save for the mainstays of meth, LSD and PCP. Hard drugs were not so much of a problem then, if I recall correctly. Never saw much paraphenalia around. It only grew to be a problem in the 90s.

Stacia Kane
11-24-2010, 01:11 AM
I have question. My story is set in 1990, though I don't remember much about that time.

How common is teen smoking during that time? The minimum age to buy cigarette didn't set yet and I'm pretty sure it more common than nowadays, but how common?

And how about drink? I think minimum age was set already but you're not the first underage drinker, right? So how common.

And one more risky question. How about dope?


I turned seventeen in summer 1990. I smoked. I drank, and had a fake ID, which the guy at the gas station knew was fake but he wanted to get into my pants so he sold to me anyway (drinking age was 21). We almost never went to bars; we went to see bands play (and drank in the parking lot before/after) or found other places to drink, usually the dugout at our high school. It was in the middle of a huge field, so you could see someone coming in all directions.

Did whatever drugs I could get my hands on too, mostly weed or acid, which was my preference. There was hash around but I didn't like it that much, and weed was easier to get. None of it was supereasy to get, but we usually could find some, especially since a few of my friends had older boyfriends (they usually bought our booze for us too, because it was easier, and because I didn't want to go out with the gas station guy, lol).

When it was nice we'd go "camping," which basically meant driving out to the campground/park/whatever place and drinking/tripping all night, then maybe getting a couple of hours of sleep in our cars before driving home.

Some weekends, especially 90-91, we'd drive out to Columbia MO, which was two hours away, and stay with friends who went to Mizzou. And of course we could drink/smoke all we wanted there.

This was in suburban St. Louis, so right in the midwest. :-)

psykeout
11-25-2010, 10:30 AM
In 1990, I was a little younger than the rest of the people on here, but I remember all of that being relatively rampant (at least in suburban Georgia). I got my first pack of cigarettes when I was 15, without an issue. Alcohol was most easily achieved using older people who wanted to get into my pants. Dope was also relatively easy to find.

I second the notion of cigarette vending machines. Waffle Houses used to have them all the time and if you tipped them over just right, you could get change out of them to purchase more cigarettes. When I bought my first pack, they were less than $3 per. Hope this helps.