Coca-Cola does not market a product that causes cancer in the manner that tobacco does, but it now finds itself in a position similar to that of the tobacco barons/pushers, having to acknowledge the harmful nature of its products and urging moderation and "informed choices" in their consumption.
Most are now aware of the danger of addictive and harmful sugar, which is the primary ingredient in regular soda. Sugar used to be used in food sparingly, if at all. It was expensive and difficult to import, relegating it to being a product of the wealthy. Today, sugar is abundant and cheap. The average American consumes a whopping 150 pounds of it each year, contributing mightily to the high rate of obesity which threatens our nation's future.
Many believe that there is no harm to be found in diet soda, yet health care professionals have begun to dispel that belief. Diet soda has been linked to depression and it has also been shown that artificial sweeteners have an effect on the brain and the body which triggers weight gain, not reduction. Noted natural healing expert Dr. James Winer (www.drjameswiner.com) preaches on his thirty-six hours of weekly local radio call-in programs that diet soda is worse than regular, and that the artificial sweetener in it is a "nerve poison" which leaches out minerals. One of the first questions Dr. Winer asks callers when they relate certain health problems is, "Do you drink coffee, tea, or soda pop?" (all of which he concludes from his forty-two years of experience are harmful). His influence has caused me to slash consumption of soda to next to nothing. I generally drink water, saving me money and potentially making my good health even better. There is certainly nothing to lose by cutting soda out of my diet as all types of soda are nutritional wastelands.
Coca-Cola has been a treasured part of Americana for decades, in the mold of "baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet". We are waking up to the fact that much of traditional Americana is doing us in, making us heavy and unhealthy.
I am not preaching to anyone about what they should do. That, of course, is their choice. I would suggest, however, that we should make our choices with open minds and armed with information.