Concept: Indirect tax
What has been the effect on purchases of beverages from stores in Mexico one year after implementation of the excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages?
Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) meant to improve health and raise revenue are being adopted, yet evaluation is scarce. This study examines the association of the first penny per ounce SSB excise tax in the United States, in Berkeley, California, with beverage prices, sales, store revenue/consumer spending, and usual beverage intake.
We assessed the short-term ability to increase retail prices of the first US 1-cent-per-ounce excise tax on the distribution of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), which was implemented in March 2015 by Berkeley, California.
Excess intake of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) has been shown to result in weight gain. To address the growing epidemic of obesity, one option is to combine programmes that target individual behaviour change with a fiscal policy such as excise tax on SSBs. This study evaluates the literature on SSB taxes or price increases, and their potential impact on consumption levels, obesity, overweight and body mass index (BMI). The possibility of switching to alternative drinks is also considered.
Mexico implemented a 1 peso per liter excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages on January 1, 2014, and a previous study found a 6 percent reduction in purchases of taxed beverages in 2014. In this study we estimated changes in beverage purchases for 2014 and 2015. We used store purchase data for 6,645 households from January 2012 to December 2015. Changes in purchases of taxed and untaxed beverages in the study period were estimated using two models, which compared 2014 and 2015 purchases with predicted (counterfactual) purchases based on trends in 2012-13. Purchases of taxed beverages decreased 5.5 percent in 2014 and 9.7 percent in 2015, yielding an average reduction of 7.6 percent over the study period. Households at the lowest socioeconomic level had the largest decreases in purchases of taxed beverages in both years. Purchases of untaxed beverage increased 2.1 percent in the study period. Findings from Mexico may encourage other countries to use fiscal policies to reduce consumption of unhealthy beverages along with other interventions to reduce the burden of chronic disease.
To evaluate the impact of the excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption in Berkeley, California, which became the first US jurisdiction to implement such a tax ($0.01/oz) in March 2015.
To illustrate the burden of high cigarette excise taxes on low-income smokers.
Cigarette excise taxes are an effective tobacco control strategy but they vary geographically due to differences in state and local taxation. There are also pronounced sociodemographic differences in community composition, suggesting that different population groups might face vastly different cigarette excise tax rates. In this study, we examine how cigarette excise tax rates differ for population groups defined by race, ethnicity, poverty status, and sexual orientation, and how these differences have evolved over time. We constructed annual cigarette tax rates in 109 mutually exclusive jurisdictions within the United States (U.S.) between 2006 and 2014. After merging with Census sociodemographic data, we calculated annual cigarette excise tax exposures for each population group as the average of each place-based tax, weighted by the proportion of the group living there. In 2014, the average U.S. resident was required to pay $2.68 in cigarette taxes, more than 60% of which was due to state and local taxation. On average, Asian/Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations faced the highest average tax ($2.95), which was $0.44 more than American Indian populations. Local taxes disproportionately augmented state and federal taxes for non-White populations, same-sex couples, and people living in poverty. Geographic variation in cigarette excise taxes produces sociodemographic variation in cigarette tax exposure. Raising cigarette taxes specifically in those places where groups at risk for tobacco-related disease are more likely to live, or otherwise creating geographically uniform tax levels, could reduce important disparities in cigarette smoking.
About half of all US states have cigarette minimum price laws (MPLs) that require a per cent mark-up on prices, but research suggests they may not be very effective in raising prices. An alternative type of MPL sets a floor price below which packs cannot be sold, and may be more promising. This new type of MPL policy has only been implemented in 1 city, therefore its benefits relative to excise taxes is difficult to assess.
Reducing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption through taxation is a promising public health response to the obesity epidemic in the U.S. This study quantifies the expected health and economic benefits of a national sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax of $0.01/ounce over 10 years.