Taxes on soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco in UK would help offset the burden of chronic diseases, says College

Publication date: 05 April 2018

Responding to Lancet findings on taxes to combat chronic diseases, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard said:

"Lifestyle and environmental factors are leading causes of non-communicable diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and liver disease, which we know can be prevented or better treated through addressing diet, physical inactivity, smoking, alcohol consumption and psychosocial factors.

"With cases of multimorbidity and chronic disease rising globally, we need to look at sensible public health measures to help manage patients' physical health as well as ensuring we are reducing the long-term pressures on our national health service here in the UK.

"The College has long supported taxes on soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco to help offset the burden of chronic diseases on the UK population.

"Today's findings from The Lancet provide helpful further evidence that taxes on these unhealthy products are an effective response to combatting higher rates of chronic diseases without disproportionately affecting people from lower socio-economic backgrounds so we need to ensure this new evidence is reflected in future health policies going forward.

"Physical Activity and Lifestyle is a clinical priority for the College, and we are working to develop resources for GPs and their teams to support them in encouraging patients to make simple changes to help them lead healthier lifestyles."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7633/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.

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