Today (November 6th) is a big day for the big soda companies. For the past few years, there has been a lot of push to tax soda just like taking tobacco. When America discovered that tobacco, shockingly, was bad for you they taxed it to the gills to try and steer Americans away from smoking. Today, they are trying to do the same thing with soda.
Today obesity, just like tobacco, is beginning to share the limelight and Americans are coming around to the idea that maybe we should take the same process to get fellow American's to stop making bad health choices. So what do we do, TAX!!! Soda taxes will be used to try and steer people away from picking up the sugary drink and maybe opt for water. This would naturally make America a healthier place, even if the change is minimal.
But, these taxes will not go through smoothly. Big Soda companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola are doing all they can to prevent these taxes from going through. And by doing everything, I mean opening the checkbook. Over 2018, they have spent 22.3 million lobbying for their positions. Much more than tobacco companies who spent $16 million lobbying in 2018 so far.
So why does all this matter? Could big soda become the next big tobacco?
It is beginning to look so. Obesity affects 40% of America and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Placing taxes on the items that have a large connection to heart diseases seems like a first step to becoming a healthier america. I don't know if we will ever have designated soda drinking spots, but if the prices are higher the demand will be lower. If the demand for soda is lower that spells trouble for the big soda companies. If they can spend money to prolong the tax laws then you better believe they will be opening the wallet.
It is quite controversial seeing these fortune 500 companies spending millions trying to stop a tax that would better the world. But then again, big tobacco has been doing it for years and I don't see an end in sight.