How Do Taxes on Unhealthy Products Impact Rising Chronic Disease Rates?

Article

Reports from The Lancet's Taskforce of Non-Communicable Diseases highlight the potential health and economic impact of taxes on soft drinks, alcohol, and tobacco.

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, are rising throughout the world and are associated with poverty and inequity in countries. Papers from The Lancet Taskforce on NCDs analyzed the potential health and economic impact of implementing taxes on soft drinks, alcohol, and tobacco to combat the rising rates of the chronic diseases.

The papers highlighted how taxes on unhealthy products can improve health among the poorest members of society, who are disproportionately affected by NCDs.

“Noncommunicable diseases are a major cause and consequence of poverty worldwide,” Rachel Nugent, PhD, of RTI International and chair of The Lancet Taskforce on NCDs and economics, said in a statement. “Responding to this challenge means big investments to improve healthcare systems worldwide, but there are immediate and effective tools at our disposal.”

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