Campaign Launched at Press Conference! The American Heart Association along with the Alliance for a Healthier Vermont officially launched our effort to pass a 2 cent per ounce excise tax on sugary drinks at a Statehouse press conference on January 20th. The result? Legislators, media and Vermonters are talking about the effort!
At the press conference, Alliance for a Healthier Vermont Campaign Director Anthony Iarrapino said a portion of the $34 million in revenue from the tax could be used to fund affordable health care programs, help subsidize the purchase of healthy foods for low-income Vermonters, and increase funding to create a more comprehensive state obesity prevention program.
“Education alone is not enough to improve health and reduce health care costs. A two-cent-per-ounce excise tax modeled on the successful tobacco tax can level the playing field for healthier beverage choices like milk and water, while also raising substantial new revenue for health care, food access, and other pressing needs,” he said.
American Heart Association national nutrition committee member Rachel Johnson added, “Food is essential to life, but sugary drinks are not. Sugar-loaded drinks contribute only empty, nutrient void calories to the diet and increase the risk of many chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.”
More than 30 Vermont organizations are now part of the Alliance in support of the sugary drink tax, including the state’s hospitals and the largest low income advocacy group.
We're in the news and editors are supporting the tax! We’ve been in the news quite a bit as we continue to talk up the effort with lawmakers and media, and we’ve received editorials from the Rutland Herald, Addison Independent and St. Albans Messenger in support of the tax. Check out some of the stories and share on social media:
You can help! If you haven’t taken action yet to support our efforts, there are many ways you can help. We can't do it without you!
- Go to the Alliance web site and sign our resolution. www.healthiervt.org
- Urge your family and friends to get involved. Just text HEALTHYVT to 5-2-8-8-6. It’s easy!
- Take a sugar-free selfie of you or your family drinking a healthy drink and send it to us to post and the American Heart Association and Alliance Facebook pages. Email [email protected] and post on your own page as well!