Hi Matthew, this thread is resurrected. Question: "Is there really a good reason for an aikidoka to drink scotch or smoke tobacco?" Probably not but I know of a few high ranking folks who do just that.
I know a few high-ranking folks who are arrogant and narrow-minded, but that doesn't mean we as aikidoka shouldn't seek to eliminate our arrogance and narrow-mindedness.
Breath is an essential element of aikido, and smoking tobacco is anything but good for breath. The drinking is a little bit of a fuzzier issue. I don't think there is any conclusive evidence out there that having an occasional drink is harmful to us.
The reason I asked the "good reason" question is that stewardship of one's health is a key responsibility of a martial artist. Those things which are harmful to one's health, therefore, ought only be undertaken by a martial artist for a very good reason, a reason which outweighs the responsibility of stewardship of one's health. Personally, I don't think "because it feels good" is such a reason.