WHO Wants Countries To Tax Your Sodas, Alcohol

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Julianna Frieman Contributor
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The World Health Organization (WHO) wants your country to tax alcoholic and sugary sweetened beverages (SSBs) like soda.

The WHO announced Tuesday new data justifies imposing a tax to disincentivize consumers from opting for “unhealthy” options, according to the report.

“Taxing unhealthy products creates healthier populations. It has a positive ripple effect across society — less disease and debilitation and revenue for governments to provide public services. In the case of alcohol, taxes also help prevent violence and road traffic injuries,” Dr. Rüdiger Krech, director of Health Promotion at the WHO, said.

There are 108 countries taxing SSBs, and excise taxes represent 6.6% of global soda prices, the WHO reported. At least 148 countries imposed an excise tax on alcohol, although 22 countries — mostly in Europe — reportedly exclude wine from this fee. (RELATED: Firearm Industry Surpasses $14,000,000,000 In Excise Tax Contributions For Conservation)

The global average excise tax share on the most sold brand of beer is 17.2%, the report stated. The most-sold brand of spirits has a global average excise tax of 26.5%, according to the WHO.

Drinking alcohol causes 2.6 million deaths annually across the world, according to the WHO. An unhealthy diet is attributed to causing 8 million deaths per year.