Annals of Health Law
HOW TO REGULATE TOXIC FOODS
Additionally, there are some residential buildings in New York City that are
smoke-free, meaning that an individual who smokes may be barred from
smoking in his or her own home. 162 Despite the varied regulatory
approaches to cigarettes, the tobacco industry itself receives governmental
support for its continued existence163 Thus, it continues to market its
IV. REGULATING SUGAR/REGULATING FOOD
[I]f we judge by its impact on human health, the American food supply is
a disaster. 165
A. Regulating Sugar
Regulating sugar would undoubtedly prove controversial. People have
been consuming sugar for more than two thousand years166 and most,
presumably, do not associate any significant harm with its consumption.
Consequently, any intrusion into personal freedom will likely be met with
resistance. Former New York Governor David Patterson proposed a soda
tax in 2009, for example, but lobbying and political conflict killed it. 167
Likewise, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to limit portion sizes of sugary
challenges are made to municipal restrictions, with plaintiffs arguing that the restrictions are
preempted by more lenient state laws. See, e.g., Entertainment Industry Coalition v.
Tacoma-Pierce Cty Health Dep’t., 153 Wash.2d 657, 105 P.3d 985 (2005) (local ordinance
was preempted by more lenient state law). Subsequent to this decision the state legislature
imposed stricter rules regarding smoking. See Wash. Rev. Code § 70.160.011.