State Sen. Tony Avella and Councilman Dan Halloran slammed the city Board of Health's decision on Thursday to approve Mayor Michael Bloomberg's .
As of March 12, sales of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces will be banned at restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas.
The city will begin fining sellers $200 for violating the ban in mid-June. The proposal passed by a vote of eight to zero, with one abstention, one absence and one vacancy on the board.
Avella, D-Bayside, said he thought the mayor and the city should focus on "initiatives that will produce real, tangible results, not gimmicks."
"While I agree that something must be done to address the growing obesity problem in this city and that this policy derives from those good intentions, I believe that this just goes too far," Avella said. "There are surely other ways to curb obesity rates in this city that do not involve infringing on an individual's personal choices. Today, the mayor is saying you can't have a big soda, what's next? With shrinking school budgets, increased taxes and water rates and less affordable housing, there are surely other matters that the mayor should be focusing his time and efforts on."
Halloran, R-Whitestone, said he believed the decision oversteps the role of government.
"The mayor has decided and his appointees have agreed: You are not fit to take care of yourself," he said. "Government has to take care of you. This kind of arrogance is bad for the health of our democracy."
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