ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) — Howard County has repealed a ban on the sale of sugar sweetened beverages on county property and at county-sponsored events.

Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman repealed the ban Thursday. It is effective immediately.

Kittleman, a Republican who took office this week, says the county supports efforts to control obesity and disease caused by poor eating habits and encourages regular exercise. But he says the ban on sodas overstepped the appropriate role government has to play.

Kittleman says better education is the key to dealing with the issue, not simple bans.

The ban restricted sugary drinks sold on county property to 40 calories. It went into effect in 2012 by an executive order by then-county executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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