Is a Caffeine Tax a better idea than the Sugar Tax?

Are high caffeine drinks the symptom or the cause, of our short sleeping, overtired and obese population?

While sipping a new thing to me, a Caramel Machiato (bit too sweet – ewww), and enjoying the ‘Cafe Culture’, I looked around and a thought occurred to me: 

We have tax on alcohol, tax on cigarettes, tax on fuel and now a tax on sugar1.

Why not start taxing caffeine?

Now, I am NOT in favour of more taxes… but my thoughts continued like this:

We have a ban on advertising alcohol and cigarettes (justified by health economic arguments).

A similar health economic argument could be made for the impact of caffeine on sleep

Would a new indirect tax be such a surprise? (“Me thinks not”).

The International Diabetes Federation suggest that there may be a relationship between obstructive sleep apnoea and type 2 diabetes2 and we have obesity and cardiovascular epidemics.

This all adds up to a considerable cost to the country…

Could we then reasonably conclude that full fat milk, high caffeine coffees (and also perhaps sugar loaded, high caffeine ‘energy drinks’) that we know disrupt sleep, leptin and ghrelin, (and contribute to Society’s obesity problems3) are not so much a symptom of our short sleeping society:

But actually the cause?

I think we may see a tax-per-mg of caffeine in coffee and ‘energy drinks’….

Remember, you read it here first! 🙂

Consult a sleep-trained pharmacist

When ear plugs, self-help and pillows aren’t cutting it – it’s time to get serious.

sleep-trained pharmacist can direct you to the most appropriate expert to help you stop snoring.

They can also help with lifestyle issues (which may be the underlying reason why you snore).

They will screen you for sleep apnoea and decide if you need further investigation i.e. a sleep study.

If you don’t need a sleep study they can direct you to a sleep-trained dentist for a custom-made, anti-snoring device.

Which is the first way to stop snoring and also treat mild to moderate OSA3, 4.


  1. Soft Drinks Industry Levy. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/soft-drinks-industry-levy-comes-into-effect 
  2. Role of Leptin and Ghrelin, food intake and body weight. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17212793 
  3. IDF statement re OSA and T2DM. https://www.idf.org/our-activities/advocacy-awareness/resources-and-tools/62:idf-consensus-statement-on-sleep-apnoea-and-type-2-diabetes.html 

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