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Jan 05, 2015

Should There Be an Extra Tax on Soda?

On January 1, people in Berkeley, California, will start paying extra for soda. Voters in the city recently approved a tax of 1 cent per ounce on sugary drinks. That means, for example, that the price of a can of soda will go up by 12 cents. Berkeley is the first U.S. city to put a special tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.  

Supporters of the tax hope it will make people think twice about buying drinks with little nutritional value. Health officials say drinking sugary beverages can increase the risk of obesity and other health problems.

“I hope that because of the tax, people will become more aware of the harm soda causes,” says Kad Smith, who worked on the campaign to get the tax approved.

However, the idea of charging more for soda isn’t popular with everyone. Several other cities and some states have tried to pass similar taxes but failed.

“Beverage taxes aren’t the solution for changing behaviors or teaching people about healthy lifestyles,” says Roger Salazar. He is a spokesperson for the American Beverage Association.

What do you think?

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