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Yes to the moral dimension -- obscured by the health issue.

It's also about children. Most parents won't allow young kids to drink coffee, for instance. Childhood ought to be a preparation for freedom and addictions have the potential to limit that freedom before it even gets started.

Adults may weigh the benefits for themselves. Sometimes the result is indeed positive.

Agree about the age issue... it does change the equation, especially if these companies are targeting their advertising toward younger kids.

I also appreciate that you brought up the issue of freedom. Dependencies do require freedom to be sacrificed, and perhaps that partially explains the aversion to them. When we need something, we give it power over us.

Yet a life without dependencies would be a life without friends and family, a life without valued people, places, and things. We give up total freedom for the benefit of forging deep and meaningful connections. And these connections are, in important ways, like any other dependency: when you lose someone you love, you go through a powerful kind of psychological withdrawal. But a life without love would be an impoverished existence.

I think it would be useful if we, as a society, stepped back and considered the nature of dependency, how our dependencies can hurt us and help us, and why certain kinds are valued over others.

Strangely, coffee is taboo for children, yet Coke is fine.

What world are you living in? The soda tax has been a hot issue for the last 10 years. Schools went from having soda sponsorships in sports to, "the horror"

I'm pretty sure your parent was talking about the caffeine in Coca-Cola, not the sugar.

But it's not like panicking over the sugar is coherent either; you see the same people praising fruit juice.

I don't know a single kid at my current high school or my past high school that was not allowed to drink coffee. I mean, kids literally come into school with starbucks cups and thermoses. My old school actually sold coffee in the morning to students. Furthermore, Caffeine in my opinion is a lot worse than nicotine, because it disrupts sleep a lot, and will cover up the symptoms of short term sleep well enough that someone will think they are fine when in reality they are chronically sleep deprived.

What age roughly do kids start drinking coffee in the US?

Idk, I remember kids talking about drinking coffee as early their 6-7th grade year. I don't think I remember anybody bringing in coffee to middle school though. I think most kids really started drinking coffee regularly in high school.

Do any states prohibit selling caffeine to minors?

Googling this: "law minor energy drink" shows that many places are considering it, although I have not seen any that actually passed such a law.

In Russia, "energy drinks" are forbidden for minors (< 18 years), but coffee, tea and coca-cola-like drinks (which AFAIK can have caffeine too) don't have such restriction.

Dosage and sweetness is surly part of the rationale. Coffee is not a cool, sweet, refreshing drink. Soda is but has around 50 mg of caffeine, while energy drinks have between 80-160 mg. Probable harm from high levels of caffeine much easier to hit with energy drinks.

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