Taxing soft drinks in the Pacific: implementation lessons for improving health

Thow, Anne Marie, Quested, Christine, Juventin, Lisa, Kun, Russ, Khan, A. Nisha and Swinburn, Boyd 2011, Taxing soft drinks in the Pacific: implementation lessons for improving health, Health promotion international, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 55-64, doi: 10.1093/heapro/daq057.

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Title Taxing soft drinks in the Pacific: implementation lessons for improving health
Author(s) Thow, Anne Marie
Quested, Christine
Juventin, Lisa
Kun, Russ
Khan, A. Nisha
Swinburn, Boyd
Journal name Health promotion international
Volume number 26
Issue number 1
Start page 55
End page 64
Total pages 10
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2011-03
ISSN 1460-2245
Keyword(s) carbonated beverages
health promotion
Pacific Islands
Summary A tax on soft drinks is often proposed as a health promotion strategy for reducing their consumption and improving health outcomes. However, little is known about the processes and politics of implementing such taxes. We analysed four different soft drink taxes in Pacific countries and documented the lessons learnt regarding the process of policy agenda-setting and implementation. While local social and political context is critically important in determining policy uptake, these case studies suggest strategies for health promotion practitioners that can help to improve policy uptake and implementation. The case studies reveal interaction between the Ministries of Health, Finance and Revenue at every stage of the policy making process. In regard to agenda-setting, relevance to government fiscal priorities was important in gaining support for soft drink taxes. The active involvement of health policy makers was also important in initiating the policies, and the use of existing taxation mechanisms enabled successful policy implementation. While the earmarking of taxes for health has been widely recommended, the revenue may be redirected as government priorities change. Health promotion practitioners must strategically plan for agenda-setting, development and implementation of intersectoral health-promoting policies by engaging with stakeholders in finance at an early stage to identify priorities and synergies, developing cross-sectoral advocacy coalitions, and basing proposals on existing legislative mechanisms where possible.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/heapro/daq057
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
1117 Public Health And Health Services
1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
Socio Economic Objective 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Health and Social Development
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