Brigham Young University has ended a 60-year ban on the sale of caffeinated soft drinks at its flagship campus in Provo, Utah, the Mormon Church-owned school said on Thursday.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has clarified over the years that caffeine is not prohibited for Mormons, but hot beverages like coffee and tea aren't allowed.
BYU Dining Services has already begun adding caffeinated sodas to their inventory, and students should be able to purchase canned or bottled sodas while the university switches their soda fountains to add caffeinated soft drinks, according to an online statement from Dean Wright, director of Dining Services. The faith's health code, known as the Word of Wisdom, specifically forbids coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol and "any other drinks or food containing harmful substances", according to the Church's official site, but whether the more ambiguous category includes anything caffeinated has always been a source of debate.
"I am drinking CAFFEINATED Diet Coke", one smiling student tells The Daily Universe between sips.
"I absolutely love it".
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The Utah-based Mormon religion directs its almost 16 million worldwide members to avoid alcohol and hot beverages such as coffee and tea as part of an 1833 revelation from Mormon founder Joseph Smith.
Sales of highly caffeinated energy drinks are still banned. "Consumer preferences have clearly changed and requests have become much more frequent".
Move over, caffeine-free soft drinks: Your caffeinated counterparts are now available at a prominent Mormon university.
Amber Whiteley said she used to get nasty looks when she brought Mountain Dew to campus when she was a BYU student almost a decade ago.
Mormon leaders have said there was a misunderstanding of the faith's doctrine regarding a ban on hot drinks like coffee and tea - as well as alcohol and tobacco - but it doesn't specifically prohibit caffeine. In a Facebook post, Caffeine Corner said, "Sounds like we're still in business".