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Journal Articles Health Policy Year : 2022

Public health lessons from the French 2012 soda tax and insights on the modifications enacted in 2018

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Marine Friant-Perrot
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Abstract

In 2016, the World Health Organization officially recommended sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) taxation as a strategy to reduce purchases, stimulate product reformulation and generate revenues for health-related programmes. Four years before, France had been one of the first countries to tax SSBs. However, the design of this tax was not considered optimal: its rate was flat, low, identical for SSBs and artificially-sweetened drinks containing no added sugars, and its initial public health justification was set aside in favour of budgetary concerns. In 2018, a new taxation scheme was enacted. Integrated in the Social Security Finance Bill, the tax on SSBs is now linearly indexed to the quantity of added sugars in the drink. In this article, we summarize the lessons learnt from the 2012 soda tax and offer insights on the potential public health benefits of the new tax enacted in 2018. A multidimensional framework aimed at gathering evidence about SSB taxation for public health drove our rational so that we address: (1) the soda tax policy-change process; (2) its impact on price and purchases; (3) the consumer receptiveness to the tax and; (4) its legal framework. We also discuss the potential application of the tax to other foods/nutrients.
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Dates and versions

halshs-03673111 , version 1 (16-06-2022)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Yann Le Bodo, Fabrice Etilé, Chantal Julia, Marine Friant-Perrot, Eric Breton, et al.. Public health lessons from the French 2012 soda tax and insights on the modifications enacted in 2018. Health Policy, 2022, 126 (7), pp.585-591. ⟨10.1016/j.healthpol.2022.04.012⟩. ⟨halshs-03673111⟩
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