Alcohol and Smoking
U.S. laws concerning the sale and consumption of alcohol may seem very liberal or very constraining to you, depending on your nationality. In the United States, it is illegal to purchase alcoholic drinks, including beer and wine, until you reach the age of 21. Laws governing alcohol can vary from state to state. For example, it is illegal in some states to walk along the street with an open container of beer. In some states, alcoholic beverages can be purchased only in special, state-run stores.
Colleges and universities often have policies that restrict the consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus. Your college or university will be able to inform you of local regulations, so be sure to ask if you are uncertain. Remember that you do not have to drink to act like an American.
Do you smoke? In many parts of the United States, all public buildings are designated "smoke free," meaning that you cannot smoke in any part of the building. Other buildings may have spaces designated for smokers. Restaurants may have smoking and nonsmoking sections. If you are a guest in someone's home, room, or apartment, always ask permission before you smoke. Even if you are in your own room, it is polite to ask your guests if anyone objects to your smoking before you reach for a cigarette. Be prepared to see No Smoking signs in most offices, classrooms, and stores.