September 23, 2018 | ° F

Accept responsibility for personal actions

A lot of people — especially University students — were pretty upset last fall when Four Loko was forced to change its original recipe. Perhaps Michael Mustica of Warren, N.J., was one of the few twenty-somethings who was happy to see it go. He is taking Phusion Projects, the makers of the drink, to court for what he claims are heart problems he developed after drinking Four Loko. We don't quite buy Mustica's claim that his heart arrhythmia is Four Loko's fault. We are not going to speculate about whether Mustica sincerely believes that Four Loko should be held accountable for his infliction because there is really no way to reach a conclusion regarding that point. But we do want to say that we believe it would be unfair to pin this on Phusion Projects. Sure, Four Loko was dangerous — but all alcoholic beverages are. Blaming Four Loko for causing heart problems would be like blaming Camel cigarettes for lung cancer. As an adult in the United States, a person's choice to use these legal products means that they must suffer the consequences. It is common knowledge that cigarettes and alcohol are bad for you.

Anyone who purchased Four Loko should have been aware of the ingredients in the beverage and the possible repercussions consuming it could have — especially someone like Mustica, who drank two and a half cans before he began suffering from heart problems. Irresponsibility is no excuse.

Also, Mustica's claims raise the question of whether his heart problems can really be directly traced back to drinking Four Loko. Can we be sure that Mustica is not mistaking correlation for causation in this case? As far as we know, the doctor who diagnosed Mustica did not come to the conclusion that drinking Four Loko directly caused the arrhythmia.

It is understandable that Mustica would want to scapegoat Four Loko for causing harm to his body, but the fact of the matter is that it is his fault for choosing to abuse the drink in the first place. Honestly, could anyone believe that drinking two and a half cans of Four Loko wouldn't result in some negative side effects? People have to remember that, when it comes to dangerous substances like alcohol, it is their responsibility to use them safely. It is not Phusion Project's fault if people choose to drink Four Loko to excess, in much of the same way that it is not Burger King's fault if people overeat their food and develop health problems.

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