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(R) Interesting pairing, and considering your comments about the FDA not approving these two were they new products, it is more surprising that you did not include guns in the topic (ATF).
(MB) Obviously, I could have included a great many things, but this particular topic is devoted to alcohol and tobacco. Also, needless to say, guns are not something which fall under the regulatory authority of the FDA.

(R) Smoking... I have two reasons for why I don't like smoking. One is the obvious, it's bad for you, and causes taxpayers to foot the medical bills of dying smokers. The second is one that cannot be refuted by any of the pro smoking camps. It stinks. Plain and simple, it smells bad. I'd rather be in a room with a skunk than a smoker. The smell of cigarette smoke is only slightly worse than a woman wearing too much perfume, no matter how good the perfume is.
(MB) I absolutely agree on both counts.

(R) Personally, I don't care one hoot about the smokers dying off, if it weren't that my taxes are used to cover thier medical bills, I say good riddance. Perhaps the next warning lables to be applied to the tobacco packages, should be a waiver of all rights to goverment provided medical benefits from problems accociated with smoking. Maybe that would finally stop smokers from continuing to smoke.
(MB) Interesting idea, but I don't know how far that would fly. Such legislation would likely also have to include almost any voluntary activity whose dangers are well-known.

(R) Drinking... I use to drink a lot in my youth, and now wish I hadn't. I still like to drink, but mostly wine and an occasional beer. I learned quickly enough that drinking. to excess, made one sick, and promptly cut back.
(MB) Good for you! Too bad that hasn't become general knowledge. Even worse, a lot of people who *do* know that still choose to drink to excess. Reason won't do much to change that sort of behavior.

(R) I believe that wine and possibly beer should be separated from high alcohol content beverages. Wine is more a food than distilled spirits are, and deserves to be treated as such.
(MB) I don't think that argument can be supported. After all, all forms of beverage alcohol are distilled from food crops. Also, I'm sure you're familiar with the "one drink" comparison that shows that one drink of beer (12 oz.), wine (5 oz.), and liquor (1 oz.) each contain the same amount of alcohol. In reality, the "high alcohol" beverages are treated differently since they cannot be sold in all the same places as can beer and wine.

(R) Alcohol in and of itself is not bad, neither is it's use (except for those that have an intolerance to it, or are alcoholics). What is bad, is the missuse, or overuse of alcohol. We must continue to create an environment that tolerates the proper use of alcohol, and at the same time, stiffen the penalties for it's misuse (or get help for those that have problems with alcohol).
(MB) I agree. Drinking to get drunk is a societal and/or emotional problem that should not be blamed on the alcohol itself. Abuse and the associated behaviors which lead to it are the problems. It's just that alcohol is something which is especially likely to produce problems for those who use it. One should also remember that it's not illegal to be drunk. It's just illegal to do certain things *while* one is drunk.

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