In San Francisco, CA, lawmakers in support of a failed sugary drink tax are taking on the issue again. Supervisors Malia Cohen, Eric Mar and Scott Wiener have authored legislation that will target advertising of sodas, by requiring health warnings on posted ads in San Francisco and banning ads on publically owned property, and prohibiting the use of city funds for the purchase of sugary beverages.
In November 2014, a two-penny per ounce tax on sodas and other sugary beverages failed to pass when it did not receive two-thirds of the vote in San Francisco. Although 56 percent voted in favor of it, the 2014 tax dedicated funding to specific health and nutrition programming and therefore required a two-thirds majority to pass.
Supervisor Wiener’s legislation would require health warnings on all posted advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages with 25 or more calories per 12 ounces. The warning will read the following “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.” The size of the warnings will be at least 20 percent of the ad space, which is the standard required by the FDA on tobacco warnings. The warnings would only apply to advertisements posted after the effective date of the legislation.
Voters in nearby Berkeley, CA, passed a law placing a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sodas last November.