Renewed push for sugary drinks tax in CNMI

8:44 pm on 10 September 2015

Campaigners against lifestyle diseases in the Northern Marianas are pushing for new legislation to tax sugary drinks.

Hospitals in Northland are ditching all sugary drinks from their cafeterias and vending machines.

Sugar-sweetened drink. Photo: PHOTO NZ

The Non-Communicable Disease Alliance wants the Saipan member of the House of Representatives Felicidad Ogumoro to re-file a new version of a bill to discourage people from buying the drinks.

The original bill proposed a 150 percent tax on tobacco, 70 percent on alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Figures from the territory's healthcare provider, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation, show in 2013, diabetes was affecting more than 8 percent of the population.

This is despite the recruitment of more physicians and the reopening of satellite clinics.

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