To The Editor:
I am writing to urge all honorable legislators in the State and City of New York to propose a bill which would make the manufacture, distribution and sale of any liquors which are deceptively advertised as soft drinks or flavored with fruit juices (natural or artificial) illegal. A prime example of such a duplicitous product is Captain Morgan Long Island Iced Tea, which does not contain tea derivatives, but rather is a mix of rum, vodka, tequila and gin, all of which are alcohols. Another example would be the plethora of fruit-flavored vodka sorbets. Recent psychological research studies on the effects of soft drink product labels, letters and words upon taste have shown that pleasant words, for example, are unconsciously associated as an implicit taste preference which is subsequently reflected as an explicit preference for the labeled product (Predictive validity of the implicit association test in studies of brands, consumer attitude, and behavior. Journal of Consumer Psychology (2004), 14, 405-415). Further, since taste is a compounding of primary taste sensations, the mix of non-alcoholic substances essentially masks the alcoholic taste sensation as a pleasant secondary perception which contingently reinforces the operant behavior of alcohol drinking under the behavior analytic theory.
If flavored cigarettes such as vanilla- and cherry-flavored Cheyenne have been banned from the retail market by the New York City Council, since their fruit flavors are ploys to addict teen smokers despite the initial obnoxious taste of tobacco, then similarly any alcoholic products (liquors, wines, liqueurs and champagnes) which rely upon fruit-flavored mixes should also be prohibited. Although the rapacity of the New York State Liquor Authority and the State and local treasuries upon the citizenry through the consumption of this biological poison is just as legal a business as Al Capone’s bootlegging enterprise, the first steps toward total abolition of alcohol manufacture, distribution and retail should be the banning of duplicitously labeled booze and fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages. Are the state and local governments ethically promoting the health and welfare of the people, or are they merely aggrandizing the corporate bootleggers, middlemen, and local liquor merchants? We want the first answer to this question from Governor Andrew Cuomo whose pragmatic agenda is to legalize anything for tax revenue exemplified in his casino mania perfected by none other than Charles “Lucky” Luciano in Havana, Cuba and Las Vegas.