Monthly Letters to Pulmonary Patients by Thomas L. Petty

Thomas L. Petty, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, 
University of Colorado

Chairman, National Lung Health Education Program (NLHEP)


National Lung Health Education Program
A collaborative project with



HealthOne Center
1850 High Street
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: 303 839 6755
Fax: 303 832 8137

A Glass of Champaign?

December 1998
PEP Pioneers
Second Wind
Torrance, California

            Dear Friends:

As I settled in my seat early this morning to fly back to Denver, I was greeted with an offer of a glass of champagne.  “Why not”, was my reply.  It is certainly true that I rarely start my day with champagne, for obvious reasons.  No responsible doctor in the United States would go to work after champagne or any other form of alcoholic beverage, in contrast with other parts of the world, such as Europe.

Champagne has been used for special occasions for many years.  It is common following key sporting events, at contract signings, and the christening of ships.  In many social circles, champagne is appropriate for weddings and funerals.  It is an appropriate drink before, during, and after dinner.  It could be symbolic of success or an acknowledgment of a landmark.

What if we had a glass of champagne at committee meetings, following “attitudinal adjustment conferences” with employees, at times of “downsizing”, or at the end of acrimonious legal or political debates?

As we enter the holiday season, a glass of champagne may be particularly appropriate.  Those who reject any form of alcoholic beverage, of course, will decline, but our friends with this persuasion can still enjoy the conviviality of the celebration.

The amount of alcohol in a glass of champagne is small.  The taste and bubbles are associated with a sense of celebration.  Why can’t every day be a celebration?  Actually, we should celebrate daily, with or without champaign.

Your friend,

              Thomas Petty, MD

Last update:
16 March 2002