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Bloomberg’s New Laws Affect More Than Large Cokes

NEW YORK, NY – What do you get when government tries to regulate people’s lives through micro-management of their personal habits? The answer can be best be found by examining Mayor Bloomberg’s nanny-state attempts to regulate how much sugar the citizens of his city consume.

On March 12, Bloomberg’s signature law that will ban super-sized sodas will bring a lot of surprises to businesses that probably think the new law won’t affect them. According to the law, no vendor can sell such beverages if they have more than 3.125 calories per ounce. Each violation will cost them $200.

The surprise is that the law also restricts the sale of that two-liter soda delivered by the local pizza delivery place, pitchers of soft drinks served at Chucky E. Cheese for kids’ parties, and even mixer carafes served at bars and restaurants. All of these violate the mayor’s new regulations that prohibit selling sweetened drinks larger than sixteen ounces.

Merchants were caught by surprise when the city health department began to distribute brochures that identified the broad range of drinks they sell as banned. “It’s not fair. If you’re gonna tell me what to do, it’s no good,” said Steve DiMaggio of Caruso’s in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. “It’s gonna cost a lot more.”

Ironically, the law does not guarantee less sugared soda will be consumed but rather that ordering enough to a family of four to go with a pizza will simply cost more. Typically, a pizzeria charges $3 for a two-liter bottle of soda. Under the ban, customers will have to buy six twelve-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of drink.

Domino’s on the Upper East Side is doing away with its most popular drink sizes: the twenty-ounce and two-liter bottles.  “We’re getting in 16-ounce bottles — and that’s all we’re going to sell.” Deliveryman Philippe Daniba said he had brought countless two-liter bottles of soda to customers over his nineteen years at the restaurant. The ban, he said, “doesn’t make sense.” Dallas BBQ will do away with its sixty-ounce pitchers and twenty-ounce glasses, manager Daisy Reyes said. “We have to buy new glasses,” she said. “We’re in the process.”

But it isn’t just soft drinks that are affected. Carafes in which mixers are normally served contain thirty-two ounces, and the most common mixers — sodas, cranberry juice and tonic water — will be limited. Only water and 100 percent juice will be unlimited. “Oh, my God. Seriously?” said Lamia Sunti, owner of the swanky West Village club Le Souk Harem. “It’s not like one person is going to be drinking the whole carafe. It’s silly.”

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