The HSE has welcomed the introduction of the sugar tax, which came into effect on Tuesday, 1 May.
The tax, which targets sugar-sweetened drinks, is now in place across Ireland and will apply to drinks with more than 5g of sugar per 100ml.
Drinks that have between 5g and 8g of sugar per 100ml will be taxed at a rate of 20 cent per litre, and drinks with more than 8g of sugar per 100ml will have a 30 cent per litre tax.
The types of drinks targeted by the new tax include:
- Flavoured water
- Juice-based drinks
- Fizzy drinks
- Energy drinks
- Concentrated drinks (like squash and flavoured syrups)
The HSE has praised the tax, saying that it will “reduce the amount of sugar-sweetened drinks that Irish people consume every day”, and will encourage the industry to make changes to their products.
The National Lead for the HSE’s Healthy Eating Active Living Programme, Sarah O’Brien, said that “the introduction of this tax is a definite step in the right direction in our efforts as a country to tackle obesity, which is one of the most serious and preventable health issues in Ireland today”.
“With at least 6 out of 10 adults and at least 1 in 5 children now overweight or obese in Ireland, the associated health risks are placing a heavy burden on ourselves and on our health services,” she added.
“We need to use all the tools we have at our disposal to create an environment that supports us all to eat healthily, be more active and achieve and maintain a healthier weight.”