JACKSON, MS—Citing a wish to maintain the quality of life for residents across the state, the Mississippi Senate on Thursday passed a bill outlawing the sale of soft drinks in containers smaller than 20 ounces. “We have a responsibility to ensure that Mississippians are consuming sugary beverages at an acceptably high and constant rate, and this ban will see to it that this standard is upheld,” said State Sen. Terry W. Brown (R-District 17) in a morning news conference, adding that the new law will be strictly enforced by state authorities and that any business caught selling soda, coffee, tea, lemonade, sports drinks, or energy drinks in standard cans or containers rather than 64 or 85-oz. cups will be subject to a fine. “This isn’t just about the comfort of individual consumers, it’s about the welfare and overall happiness of entire communities. The fact that a resident of this state could consume less than the equivalent of 16 packets of sugar in one beverage is simply unacceptable, and it demands immediate action.” Brown also called for stricter limits on diet sodas, the sale of which Mississippi lawmakers hope to restrict to minors by the end of the year.