• By Dana Sparks

Smoking, Sugar, Spirits & ‘Sin’ Taxes: Higher Price Would Help Health

June 3, 2013

Physicians call for new tax on sugary drinks, fatty foods; tax hike on tobacco, alcoholic beverages

Go ye and sin no more - or pay for it, when it comes to junk food, smoking and consuming alcohol. That’s the message from two Mayo Clinic physicians who say raising “sin” taxes on tobacco and alcoholic beverages and imposing them on sugary drinks and fatty foods would lead many people to cut back, improving public health.

Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and physiologist Michael Joyner, M.D., says, “Sin taxes could address three of these four major behavioral determinants of overall health. Sin taxes have also been highly effective in improving public health in the past and in the current environment could be structured to raise substantial revenue and prevent both medical overuse and chronic diseases.”

The article by Michael Joyner, M.D., and David Warner, M.D., appears in the June issue of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

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 Journalists: Edited sound bites with Dr. Joyner are available in the downloads

 

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