Statement of CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson

If there were any lingering question about why the soda industry opposes taxes so vigorously, part of the answer lies in the findings released today from researchers at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health:  The taxes are driving down soda purchases.  In other words, the taxes are working as intended.  Besides raising revenue, soda purchases declined more than 5 percent in the tax’s first year and another 4 percent in the tax’s second year.  And during the same period, sales of untaxed drinks like water went up slightly.

Mexico is poised to reap enormous benefits from soda taxes in the form of reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes and other soda-related diseases.  Legislators and health officials in Santa Fe, Seattle, and other American cities and states should carefully consider these early lessons out of Mexico and support soda taxes in their cities.