We all know that smoking tobacco is bad for our health. With both public pressure and far higher taxes, smoking is (thankfully) on the decline in Canada.
Now we are facing the crushing health effects of junk food and beverages. These are filled with bad fats, sugar, and salt -plus colorants in soft drinks. The results are alarming: rapidly rising rates of obsity, diabetes, heart conditions, cancer, and far more. Our health care system can't keep up. It turns out that a tobacco company is the largest junk food company! Even the most ardent libertarian (who dislikes government intervention in our lives) may have to concede that doing nothing about this epidemic is harming all of us.
Thus we may have to do the same thing with junk food and drinks as we did with tobacco: apply social pressure as well as add taxes. We know that banning didn't work with alcohol (and isn't working with street drugs). At least taxing these ills will raise money needed to pay for the freedom to eat and drink ourselves into oblivion. For more information read this Globe & Mail article.