Proponents of the tax cite research showing that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes and other ailments. They say the tax would lower consumption, reduce health problems and save medical costs. At least a dozen states already have some type of taxes on sugary beverages, said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.The tax however is not met without opposition, a recent attempt to pass an 18% tax on sugared drinks in the State of New York failed due to public outcry, and lobbying from the beverage industry.
The beverage industry argues taxes on sugared drinks is a regressive tax(tax on the poor) and that it is more effective to promote programs which discourage the consumption of soft-drinks in school.
From that point of view they may be right. It is not certain if the cost of cigarettes ever really stopped an addict from smoking them, instead it was probably the public campaign ads, organized by an anti-tobacco group, that finally put the bullet in cigarettes.
It is no doubt to anyone that there is simply no health value to soft drinks. They are nothing more than empty calories which spike blood sugar levels often leading to uncontrollable hunger, binging, and in the long term, obesity.