George Osborne announces levy on sugary drinks and a rise in tobacco tax

16 March 2016        

Category: BHF Comment


We welcome the changes announced in today’s budget aimed at tackling increasing obesity levels and stubborn smoking rates. 

The sugary drinks levy will be brought into effect in two years’ time and will be assessed on the volume of the sugar-sweetened drinks produced or imported by firms.

The 5% above inflation rise on hand-rolled tobacco is a positive step towards reducing smoking rates.  

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: 

“The Government’s budget today shows a real commitment to protecting the health of future generations.  

“Lowering sugar intake through a levy on sugary drink companies will help us stem the nation’s obesity crisis, while increasing tax on tobacco will boost quitting rates and stop people from taking up the deadly habit.

“These steps will be instrumental in reducing people’s risk of developing potentially fatal diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.”