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Cola Wars: The Big Loopholes Dooming Bloomberg's Soda Ban

Despite successful public-health projects under his belt, Bloomberg and his hubris may be looking at a big failure.


In another effort to attack obesity (and libertarianism) in New York City, three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg is attempting to institute a ban on sodas in the city. Under Bloomberg's plan, it would be illegal for "food-service establishments" like mall food courts, delis, sports arenas, and food carts to sell sodas and other sugar-laden drinks in cups or bottles larger than 16 ounces. The ban could take effect as early as March of next year, at which point New Yorkers can say goodbye to giant glasses of Coke in restaurants. Say goodbye to 20-ounce sodas from the bodega on those sweltering summer afternoons.

Naturally, Bloomberg is facing blowback from many Americans who feel like he's restricting freedom. "[I]t is patently absurd for Bloomberg to claim he is not limiting freedom when he uses force to stop people from doing something that violates no one's rights, whether it's selling donuts fried in trans fat, lighting up in a bar whose owner has chosen to allow smoking on his own property, or ordering a 20-ounce soda in a deli," Jacob Sullum wrote in Reason, referencing Bloomberg's past bans on smoking and trans fats.

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