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Sodas deserve same health warnings as cigarettes: Bronx lawmaker

Bronx Assemblyman JeffreyDinowitzrevived legislation first introduced last fall to maMario Tama/Getty Image

Sodas warrant just as much warning as cigarettes, according to a Bronx Assemblyman.

Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz revived legislation first introduced last fall to make sugary drinks bear warnings of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay the same way cigarette packs warn about lung cancer and emphysema.

First reported by the New York Post, Dinowitz reintroduced a bill brought forward last year by former Brooklyn Assemblyman Karim Camara.

“Given what we know about the dangers sugary drinks pose to our society, and the severity of this public health crisis, it is only appropriate that we place warning labels on sugary drinks," he said in a statement.

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"Similar to warning labels on cigarettes and other tobacco products, my bill would allow consumers to make more informed choices about what they purchase," Dinowitz added.

The American Beverage Association said regulation doesn't equate to informed consumers.

"If we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education — not laws and regulation," Association’s spokesman Christopher Gindlesperger told the New York Post.

The label battle is only the latest skirmish in the city's ongoing war on sugary drinks. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to prohibit large-sized soft drinks was thwarted when a judge threw out the ban in 2013.

Last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration was quietly looking into how it could regulate soft drink portions.

“Mayor de Blasio has made clear he supports a ban on large sugary drinks,” de Blasio spokesman Phil Walzak said in October.

 
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