His response follows another recent polarizing issue for Sanders and his opponent Hillary Clinton — soda tax.
Sanders on the campaign trail:
Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail
Bernie Sanders doesn't think cigarette and soda taxes are comparable
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 15: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) speaks to a crowd gathered at the Phoenix Convention Center during a campaign rally on March 15, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary elections in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, while Missouri and Illinois remain tight races. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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Sanders says there's a big difference between the heavy taxing of sugary drinks like soda and upping taxes for cigarettes. He says the soda tax penalizes poor people because they drink more soda.
But some studies have shown that cigarette smokers are typically low-income as well.