The beverage industry scored a defining victory in its battle against soda taxes this week as California lawmakers voted to bar future local taxes on sugary drinks.

The state had been a hotbed for the soda tax movement, passing laws designed to slash soda drinking in four jurisdictions. But under the fast-moving ban introduced June 23 and signed into law five days later, no new food or beverage taxes can be passed in the state until 2031 at the earliest.

The law represents a significant, if long-anticipated, shift among the nation’s sodamakers, who have previously fought taxes, city by city, expending millions of dollars in the process. Soda companies say the statewide bans more efficiently protect jobs and businesses that could be hurt by local tax laws.

But public-health advocates argue the state preemptions undermine the will and health of voters, pointing out that similar tactics have been embraced by tobacco companies and fast-food chains to fend off everything from cigarette taxes to menu labels.

Now backers of the soda-tax movement are searching for other options in California – and bracing for similar fights across the country.

“There’s a fear that as California goes, so goes the nation,” said Sabrina Adler, a senior staff attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, which develops public-health policies. “This could be the beginning of further preemption in other states.”

Advocates say the tactical shift from sodamakers was not unexpected, though the speed of the California ban caught many by surprise. California has long been seen as the vanguard of the soda-tax movement, which seeks to slash consumption of sugary drinks while raising revenue for local governments.

Soda is a primary source of calories and added sugars in the American diet, and cities that have passed taxes – such as Berkeley, California, which became the first in 2014 – have seen consumption fall.