It's all about the programming. Smoking kills way more, but because of a fake social stigma on alcoholism and a bunch of people making money off of AA you get the current state of affairs. Its the same with everything; people fear grizzly bears and sharks despite the fact that cows kill 20 times more people each year than either of those animals. But we're told to fear sharks and bears, so we do. Yet we pet cows and dogs which are far more deadly when you look at the statistics.
Alcohol-related healthcare problems are a serious issue today in the U.S., and worldwide. Unfortunately, current statistics don't adequately reflect the far-reaching physical, psychological, and societal negative consequences of excessive alcohol use, whereas it's clear to see the causal relationship between smoking and specific diseases.
Also, thanks to health education, smoking is on the decline, but alcohol-related ER visits are on the rise. On any given day, hospitals across the country are full of patients MTF
("metabolizing to freedom") Years ago communities had a "drunk tank" at the local jail (remember Andy Griffith?), but those days are gone due to liabilities. The current scenario is this: a bystander calls 911 for a person down, if they can't stand and walk they're brought to the ER to sober up. Further costs are incurred if a care provider suspects they might also be altered due to a head injury and orders a CT scan, or blood tests. This scenario is repeated thousands of times every day across the U.S. Don't forget the assaults, homicides, suicides, car crashes, domestic violence, etc. related to alcohol consumption--in addition to the various short and long term diseases.
BTW I'm not a teetotaler, but after decades working in the ER, I've come to see alcohol and drug abuse as our greatest healthcare challenge. The AA/NA model is far from ideal, but we have few treatment options.http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm