My plan to save countless American lives

The Los Angeles Times editorial board writes today in favor of the bill giving the FDA authority over tobacco because, uh, regulation is good and stuff. They urge the agency to work quickly once the law goes into effect to ban menthol cigarettes, since menthol masks the harsh taste of tobacco and causes people to smoke more.

I agree! But I don’t think we should stop there. Alcohol and obesity also kill thousands of Americans every year, and with a few simple changes to American food and drink products we can save countless lives:

No more aging whiskies — Did you know that aging whiskey in a barrel for several years masks the harsh flavor of spirits coming straight from the still? It’s true! If we ban aging and force distillers to sell only white dog, we can cut whiskey consumption in no time.

No more hops in beer — People would drink much less beer if we stopped balancing out malts with those pesky, flavorful cones.

No more toppings and condiments — Nefarious fast-food companies trick consumers into eating their hamburgers by masking the taste of beef with tasty things like ketchup, mustard, and mayo. Forcing them to sell plain meat on a bun would do wonders for the national waistline.

No more milk chocolate — Dark chocolate is good for you, milk chocolate not so much. Bye bye, Mars bars!

No more vanilla lattes — Coffee is naturally bitter. For too long Starbucks has been addicting its customers to caffeine by masking that bitterness with sugary syrups. A venti caramel Frappuccino with whipped cream? 500 calories. A single espresso? 5 calories. The way forward is clear.

See, saving lives is easy when all you have to do is make the products people like taste bad. If only the FDA had control over all our consumption decisions, how healthy we all could be!

Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    Cue someone thinking that something on this list is actually a good idea in 5… 4… 3…

  2. Mike says:

    Now THAT’s change we can believe in.

  3. steve morris says:

    Wow, now you’re makin’ sense. Let’s get a petition started demanding all that named above be banned. And I’m sure you, Jacob, being the health nut, can think of many other items to put on the list. But first things first. NO CIGS, CIGARS, ANY KIND OF TOBACCO. Gotta get rid of that stuff for good. I see a pack of cigs cost about $4.50. Now at a tax of $4.50/cig, that would convince a lot of people their money isn’t worth spending on cigs and we’d have a lot more healthier people requiring a lot less medical attention because they wouldn’t be able to afford smokes. I can just see it now: a tobacco-free world. If that isn’t paradise, I don’t know what is.

  4. Ben says:

    Hey, I LIKE Dark Chocolate.

    Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any argument for taking the action recommended by the L.A. Times that doesn’t also cover taking the actions you mockingly recommend. (Except, perhaps, that at least unhealthy food serves the purpose of feeding people……which is kind of needed. Cigarettes serve the purpose of…..what? More efficiently delivering carcinogens to our bodies?)

    So maybe there’s a line to be drawn. But it seems to me this is a situation where one either values individual liberty over public health, or vice versa. (Note, I’m not saying that one cannot value both….but a choice has to be made on one or the other.)

  5. Doug Winship says:

    Sigh, Jacob….
    You have fallen into the “if we just spend enough money, we can save some” trap, only with lives!
    Take away aged whiskey (and whisky), chocolate, ketchup, and hopped beer, and the suicide rate increase far beyond any other mortality savings.
    Now, cut out vanilla lattes…. I dunno. Seems like that might work. I know that my wife develops severe homicidal tendencies when confronted with a Starbucks worker’s pitch first thing in the morning…. (seriously, last summer, another customer interrupted the barista who was “helping” Margaret with the words, “For the love of God, just giver her a cup of coffee!”)

  6. Dan Lavery says:

    The only argument I see for LA times is that they would be preventing people from developing a habit they later regret. And if so, they should just be outlawed as opposed to sneakily trying to manipulate people like this. I just think that if someone has smoked, continues to smoke now, and has no regrets about it, they do not deserve to be cut off. Perhaps people opposed to people other than themselves smoking could endorse the production of Menthol free cigarettes as a therapy to help people quit rather than subtly yanking rights away.

    Take away whiskey, and people will drink Vodka, simple as that.
    Chocolate, on the other hand, I agree whole heartedly on. NO MORE MILK CHOCOLATE. It has been corrupting American youth since it came out.

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