Should soda be taxed like cigarettes? | The Tylt

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Should soda be taxed like cigarettes?
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Cities like Chicago are implementing a steep tax on sodas and other sweetened drinks to encourage residents to make healthier choices and help fill some budget gaps. Health officials say it's a good step to push back against chronic diseases linked to poor health decisions. Others think the soda tax is a thinly-veiled money grab. Let people drink what they want—it's not the government's business. What do you think? 💧

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Health officials say one of the best ways to fight obesity is to tax sodas. Sodas provide no nutritional value but add a ton of unnecessary calories to a person's diet. Compounded over time, soda becomes the foundation of a poor diet that ultimately leads to obesity and other chronic health issues. 

Taxing soda like how cigarettes or alcohol is taxed adds just enough friction to get people to drink less. The first city to pass a soda tax, Berkeley, found that adding a one-cent-per-ounce tax to all sodas was enough to nudge people to make healthier choices. A study published by the American Journal of Public Health found soda sales in the city dropped by 9.6 percent, compared to a rise of 6.9 percent in the region. 

People might not like the idea of a soda tax, but it's a health issue. 

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Others say soda taxes are really just cash grabs by city governments. There are plenty of ways to help people make better choices. Forcing them shouldn't be one of them. Soda is hardly the main driver of obesity and chronic illness—it's a combination of many factors and soda only plays a small part in it. 

Soda taxes unfairly burden low-income and working class families. Poorer neighborhoods are more likely to have soda and sweetened beverages and are less likely to have the so-called healthier options championed by officials. People have the right to make choices for themselves. They don't need city and health officials to make it for them. 

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should soda be taxed like cigarettes?
#DrinkWaterInstead
A festive crown for the winner
#HandsOffMySoda