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!