There is no middle ground in the US. Or at least it seems like that from an European perspective. In Europe, we have a lot of middle ground. We call it: taxes. Because, even if the government does want to behave people in a certain way, they tend to leave your choices open, but they will try to make your decision easier by adding taxes on undesired products.

Tobacco is not only not healthy but also a cash cow for the government. The country of our Finnish fellow Olavi  taxes for instance the life out of liquor.

In the US tax or taxes seem to be a four letter word, despite the actual spelling. In every other place you see the price of the product, but if it is your turn to pay, many a foreigner will be surprised, over and over again, because the price on the menu is without tax. Thus every check, every bill is a reminder that the product/service would in a hypothetical world be cheaper, but the restaurant is forced to add a Value-Added-Tax to your bill thus depriving you of more money than they, likeable people as they are, wanted to. Or, as I read it, every bill has a design of a certain Emil-Zola-like “J’accuse”. I accuse the government of making life difficult for adding taxes to any given product . Leave alone the fact, that with the taxes a government would normally provide a working infrastructure and education (I will not go so far as mentioning health care).

All that said, in the US, land of the free, where it is your God- and constitution-given right to bear arms, they vote subjects into power who cannot resist making life better and healthier for you – by means of depriving you of a choice. The era of prohibition is just one example. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, prohibiting recently the sale of large sugary drinks, is another example. Why don’t you just let them choose for themselves and – if in doubt – tax (the {insert any given four letter word}) the non-desireable items to finance a better infrastructure, waste disposal, cheaper public transport?