I'm trying to start a website that shows jobs in the more "shunned" industries like smoking or alcohol but I'm having a hard time thinking of a word that sums up all of them. Is there a word for these industries?


Vice industries might fit. A good example of this usage is an article from Fortune magazine entitled:

The 5 Biggest Vice Industries in the World

The five industries the article discusses are:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco
  3. The Military-Industrial Complex
  4. Illicit Drugs
  5. Gambling
  • Why did they leave out politics? – Hot Licks Jan 11 at 1:54
  • Is caffeine #6? – Mazura Jan 11 at 4:38

I agree with Jason, they are definitely all recreational drugs. I suppose if you want a word with a less negative connotation than ‘drugs’ (considering the angle you are coming from), maybe something like ‘recreational substances’ could be appropriate. Other than that, hard to think of anything the would concisely capture all of those, and also not be too vague or euphemistic


All of these substances are intoxicants (which by definition means something that intoxicates).

Intoxicate, as a verb, means: "to excite or stupefy by alcohol or a drug especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished"

According to the Business Dictionary an intoxicant is a: "Substance which when taken into a body by one mean or another produces a condition of diminished mental and physical ability, hyperexcitability, or stupefaction."

However, the industry of intoxicants is not an officially recognized umbrella term for the industries of these differing substances (and there isn't a widely recognized umbrella term as proposed in the OP. Typically the pharmaceutical industry encompasses legal drugs and the other proposed intoxicants having their own uniquely recognized industries as well. (Tobacco industry, alcohol industry, etc).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.