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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that there is a “broad effort by both private attorneys and nonprofit groups to sue Atlanta based Coca-Cola and other soft drink companies for selling high -calorie drinks in schools,” which exacerbates the nation’s obesity problem.

“Attorneys expect to file their first suit as soon as next month. The plaintiffs will be parents of schoolchildren. Part of the strategy is to claim that soft drink companies use caffeine, a mildly addictive substance, to hook children on a product that is dangerous because of its empty calories.”

One attorney involved in the effort compares having a soda machine in schools to having a cigarette machine there, and the legal minds at work here say that the same strategy used to bring tobacco companies to their collective knees will be used against soda companies.

Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association (ABA), tells the paper that the groups are "trying to paint a bull's-eye on a particular product and pass it off as a meaningful solution to a complicated problem."
KC's View:
Seems to us that there is a central flaw in the logic here.

When people smoked, every cigarette on the market was potentially deadly. There was no safe cigarette. And, we all found later, the cigarette companies were manipulating the product’s formulation to make it more addicting. And lying about it.

Sure, caffeine is addictive, and can lead to consumption of empty calories. But there are diet soft drinks that don’t have calories. There also are thousands of other kinds of beverages on the market, which means that people who want to slake their thirst have options other than caffeinated, sugared soft drinks.

While we believe in individual responsibility, we always were in favor of the tobacco companies being held culpable for their actions…which is probably just a precursor to their executives eventually being cast off into their own special corner of hell.

But we think that this new round of lawsuits may be motivated by the soft drink companies’ deep pockets rather than any sense that these actions will have any real significance.