Politics & Policy

New York Lawmaker Wants to Ban Minors from Buying Large-Size Sodas

‘I’ll have a large coke.”

“Can I see some I.D.?”

This exchange could become the norm in the state of New York if Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D., Staten Island) gets his way. Titone has proposed a bill that would ban the sale of sugary drinks 16 ounces or larger to minors unless a parent is present.

Titone thinks this legislation is urgently needed because sugar is a deadly threat: “Sugar in large quantities is a dangerous product. Like a gun, it will kill you. It’s just going to take a little longer,” he told a CBS2 reporter. 

He also proposed a companion bill earlier in August requiring warning labels be affixed to sugary drinks. One proposed version of the warning label reads: “Safety Warning: Consuming food items and beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

For New Yorkers, Titone’s quest to crack down on sugary beverages feels like déja vu: It calls to mind former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg’s unpopular crusade against the drinks. Bloomberg tried to impose regulations via the city’s health board that would have prohibited the sale of most sugary drinks in containers exceeding 16 ounces in the Big Apple. But his ban was rejected in 2014 by the New York Court of Appeals for bypassing the legislature. 

Unlike Bloomberg’s ban, Titone’s bill would apply only to minors. But while it doesn’t infantilize adults, it’s just as open to charges of ineffectual nanny-statism. 

It’s not completely clear how Titone’s proposal would be implemented because the text of the bill isn’t yet available, but consider a scenario. For the first several weeks after I began attending college in New York City, I was still 17 years old. Under Titone’s bill, I would apparently have needed my parents to accompany me to a McDonalds or a 7-Eleven if during that time I ever craved a large Sprite.

But in the end, I could have easily run to a local drug store, bought a six pack of 12-ounce Mountain Dew cans without my parents and without having to procure a fake I.D., and chugged all 72 ounces in one sitting. And if sugar is a mortal enemy, New York might as well ban children from buying Snickers and Skittles, too.

With rising crime and homelessness in New York City, you would think Staten Island politicians might have better things to do than attempt to police groups of teenagers who want large Cokes with their burgers.

— Celina Durgin is a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review

Most Popular

White House

Trump and the ‘Racist Tweets’

What does “racist” even mean anymore? Racism is the headline on President Trump’s Sunday tweets -- the media-Democrat complex assiduously describes them as “racist tweets” as if that were a fact rather than a trope. I don’t think they were racist; I think they were abjectly stupid. Like many ... Read More
White House

The Trump Steamroller

As we settle into high summer and the period of maximum difficulty in finding anything to fill in hours of television news, especially 24/7 news television, two well-established political trends are emerging in this pre-electoral period: The president’s opponents continue to dig themselves into foxholes that ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Ilhan Omar Is Completely Assimilated

Beto O’Rourke, the losing Texas Senate candidate who bootstrapped his way into becoming a losing presidential candidate, had a message for refugees who had come to America: Your new country is a hellhole. The former congressman told a roundtable of refugees and immigrants in Nashville, Tenn., last week: ... Read More

We All Wanted to Love the Women’s Soccer Team

For the first time in my life, I did not root for an American team. Whatever the sport, I have always rooted American. And if those who called in to my radio show were representative of my audience, many millions of Americans made the same sad choice. It takes a lot for people like me not to root for an ... Read More

The ‘Squad’ Gives a Gift to Donald Trump

On Sunday, Donald Trump gave the Democrats a gift -- comments that indicate he thinks native-born congresswomen he detests should “go back” to the countries of their ancestors. On Monday, the four congresswomen handed Trump a gift in return, managing to respond to the president’s insults in some of the most ... Read More