Thursday, March 19

Proposed Caffeine Tax

From last week: "...A proposal to tax caffeine in Utah is being met with skepticism, even outrage, from people who cherish their diet colas and coffees."

Article's here.

There's a "Thou shalt not" on just about everything bad for you in LDS literature. Of note is one which says - paraphrased here - "Thou shalt not imbibe intoxicating beverages" and "Thou shalt not imbibe hot beverages". The former is extended to wine, hard liquor, beer, etc. You get the picture. But the latter? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot1.

The question is and always has been what, exactly, is a "hot beverage". If it were me making the "laws" from an ecclesiastic point of view, I'd say that that points to coffee. But is not hot chocolate also a hot beverage if only from its definition? And what about hot tea?

Coffee and tea (each in their hot state) contain caffeine. But so does Coca Cola, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc., albeit in a cold state. So what does that mean for the major percentage of Utah's population?

It means caffeine must be bad, too.

And addictive.

Walk into a 7-11 or Maverik any time of the day or night and see the hordes filling up their gallon-sized mugs with caffeine-laced beverages. Hell, there are even gallon-sized mug holders hanging off of their car window sills. Don't know how many times those folks fill up their mugs throughout the day, but I'll bet they get more caffeine - and more sugar than their bodies can metabolize, I'm sure - than I do in the several mega-cups of coffee I consume in a day.

But wait, there's more. When I lived in California, no-one I knew had ever touched a drop of decaf coffee. Or decaf Coke. Or... you get the idea. Why, then, are decaf drinks so BIG in Utah? Decaf cans of coffee fly off the shelves at grocery stores; so do decaf cans of Coke. So what's the deal with that?

There are those who would believe it's not the hot beverage that's to blame, it's the caffeine. So consumption of a hot decaf cup of coffee is OK from an ecclesiastic point of view.

And cheaper, too, if that new tax goes into effect.

1 aka WTF. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is the NATO phonetic alphabet version of WTF. If you have to ask what WTF stands for, you probably should cover your ears when you find out.

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