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Valuing Federal Taxation Policies to Prevent Disease and Raise Revenue

      Public health policy making is increasingly focused on evidence-based policies to prevent disease stemming from tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and excessive alcohol consumption. In the U.S., smoking-related illnesses, poor diet, and excessive alcohol consumption cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and cost well above $1 trillion per year. Taxing the products that cause these health harms is a well-established evidence-based policy strategy proven to discourage unhealthy consumption and generate revenue.
      • Wagenaar A.C.
      • Salois M.J.
      • Komro K.A.
      Effects of beverage alcohol price and tax levels on drinking: a meta-analysis of 1,003 estimates from 112 studies.
      • Contreary K.A.
      • Chattopadhyay S.K.
      • Hopkins D.P.
      • et al.
      Economic impact of tobacco price increases through taxation: a Community Guide systematic review.
      • Long M.W.
      • Gortmaker S.L.
      • Ward Z.J.
      • et al.
      Cost effectiveness of a sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax in the U.S.
      • Andreyeva T.
      • Chaloupka F.
      • Brownell K.
      Estimating the potential of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and generate revenue.
      • Mozaffarian D.
      • Afshin A.
      • Benowitz N.L.
      • et al.
      Population approaches to improve diet, physical activity, and smoking habits: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.

      CBO. Options for reducing the deficit: 2014 to 2023. increase all taxes on alcoholic beverages to $16 per proof gallon. www.cbo.gov/budget-options/2013/44854. Published November 13, 2013.

      WHO. Global status report on noncommunicable diseases 2010. Chapter 4: reducing risks and preventing disease: population-wide interventions. www.who.int/nmh/publications/ncd_report_chapter4.pdf.

      WHO. Report of the commission on ending childhood obesity. http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/204176/1/9789241510066_eng.pdf?ua=1. Published 2016.

      Federal, state, and some local legislatures have the authority to enact excise taxes for this purpose, with most activity at the state and local levels.
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