Taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages can reduce their consumption, generate revenues, and promote public health.1,2 However, the beverage industry is using a strategy called preemption that poses a serious threat to the ability of localities to levy such taxes. Preemption occurs when a higher level of government (eg, a state) limits the authority of a lower level (eg, a city) to enact new policies. Since the 1980s, the tobacco industry has successfully lobbied policymakers for state preemption of local initiatives restricting tobacco advertising and smoking in public places.3 Lessons learned from experiences with the tobacco industry can inform public health responses to the beverage industry’s advocacy for state preemption of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages.
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Crosbie E, Schillinger D, Schmidt LA. State Preemption to Prevent Local Taxation of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. JAMA Intern Med. 2019;179(3):291–292. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.7770
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