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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Public health groups in Rhode Island urged lawmakers Tuesday to levy a tax on sugary drinks, but the idea fell flat with beverage industry leaders who said their products shouldn’t be singled out in the fight against obesity.

Legislation before the state’s General Assembly would add one penny per ounce tax to the cost of regular soda or other drinks sweetened with sugar, or $1.44 to the cost of a 12-pack of 12-ounce sodas. Diet sodas or other non-sugared drinks would not be subject to the tax.

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