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America drinks just as much as it did in the Mad Men era


Mad Men can make the 1960s seem like a nonstop booze-fest. Between the three-martini lunches and constant pours of liquor in Don Draper's office, it's hard to know how anybody at Sterling Cooper & Partners gets any work done. (A handful of Slate staffers once videotaped their efforts to drink like Don and have a productive workday. It was ... unsuccessful but hilarious.)

Read more: 35 maps and charts that explain alcohol

Forbes's Dan Diamond brings some data to bear on this question, using federal information to show that Americans didn't actually drink more in the Mad Men era than we do right now. What has changed, however, is America's relationship with cigarettes. Way fewer Americans smoke now than did in the 1960s:

mad men drinking
(Dan Diamond / Forbes)

There was a spike in American alcohol consumption, but it actually happened right after the 1960s. Don Draper, even with all his many talents, is not an accurate representation of what drinking was like in his era. He apparently will, however, feel much more at home in the upcoming decades.

See more on how health care has changed in America since the Mad Men era here.

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