The habit of downing nearly eight liters of cola a day cost a 25-year-old Australian man, William Kennewell, all his teeth. He did not give up even after repeated warnings from his dentist and the addiction caused severe tooth decay that led to blood poisoning. He now uses dentures.

The addiction started as he hated the taste of water and he would down six to eight liters of cola in a day as replacement for water.

"I'm told a normal person has about 23 teeth, but ... I only had 13 left, and they had to be removed," he told Adelaide Advertiser. "It started because I wasn't a huge water fan and working in the hotel industry, I had easy access to Coke. Because my teeth were decaying so badly, it caused blood poisoning which just made me sick, but my health improved with the dentures."

Kennewell's case is now being used as an example by health experts to create awareness among youngsters about the ill-effects of fizzy, sugary drinks.

But soft drink companies have held their ground that these drinks are not harmful. Australian Beverages Council chief executive Geoff Parker insists on the importance of teaching oral hygiene to children at a very young age. "However, singling out one particular part of the diet is a misguided approach to dealing with an issue such as dental hygiene," Parker noted.

While the 25-year-old agreed that it was a good idea to create awareness, he isn't sure about how effective these warnings would be.