On Friday, July Cook County Circuit Judge Daniel Kubasiak granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Retail Merchants Association that prevented the tax from going into effect on July 1, as initially planned. With the dismissal of the suit, Cook County was able to put the tax into effect on August 2.
Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, issued the following statement on Tuesday in support of the Cook County tax:
“The American Heart Association congratulates the leaders and residents of Cook County, which today becomes the first county in the United States with a sweetened drink tax. This tax will improve health, drive economic growth, and help create a brighter future for millions of families.
The evidence could not be clearer: sugary drink taxes work. From Philadelphia to Berkeley to Mexico, these taxes have produced a litany of positive outcomes—lower consumption of sugary drinks, higher consumption of water, additional revenue for a wide variety of health and education initiatives—without hurting local businesses or customer sales.
The revenue generated by Cook County’s tax will fund critical public health and safety priorities, and the health impact will be substantial. Harvard University researchers project that Cook County’s tax will reduce diabetes rates by seven percent, result in $25.80 in health care cost savings for every $1 invested, and prevent 37,000 cases of obesity over a ten-year period.
We urge more communities to follow Cook County’s example. From coast to coast, millions of people in the United States are now experiencing firsthand the life-changing programs and services that sugary taxes fund—such as expanded preschool programs, new parks and playgrounds, and nutrition education in schools and communities. The American Heart Association, is firmly committed to supporting local leaders across the country who are working to bring these benefits to their communities.”
Just one day before the implementation of the Cook County Sweetened Drink Tax, a cardiology news article by Bridget M. Kuehn was published in Circulation, a Journal of the American Heart Association, that discusses the sugary drink taxes that have taken effect across the United States with the joint goals of reducing consumption and raising much needed funds. The article states that early data suggest that the approach is working. You can read the full article here.
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