Straight Edge is a lifestyle choice comprised of abstinence from intoxicating substances. The critera for what constitutes an intoxications substance varies from person to person, but most straight edge individuals abstain from alcohol and recreational drugs. Others also would include cigarettes and coffee in this list. Still others have been known to abstain from sex, which is sometimes regarded as mind-altering or addictive.
Straight edge arose from the hardcore punk scene in the 1980's. The Washington, D.C., USA group Minor Threat is credited with popularizing this movement. As zines where a major part of the punk scene, so they were to the hardcore scene as well. Zines devoted to the straight edge philosophy emerged from this background and continued to be published as awareness of the straight edge scene grew world wide.