Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter proposed a new statewide tax on sugar-sweetened drinks Feb. 14. | Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter proposed a new statewide tax on sugar-sweetened drinks Feb. 14. | Spencer Platt via Getty Images

CHICAGO — With one of every 100 deaths of obese people per year reportedly linked to a sugary drink-heavy diet, the soda industry is increasingly facing criticism similar to that of “Big Tobacco” in the ’90s.

And much like the earliest efforts to extinguish Americans’ love affair with cigarettes, attempts to curb sweetened beverage consumption have mostly fizzled, even in the relatively health-conscious states of California and New York.

The resistance hasn’t deterred Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter, though: The Chicago-based Democrat is the latest lawmaker to put sweetened beverages in her crosshairs by introducing a proposal that would impose a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks statewide.

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