Law synopses

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The Public Health Law Center’s publications are written for public health practitioners, legal professionals, advocates, policymakers and the general public. Law synopses are public health law white papers, including the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium’s series of publications summarizing key areas of tobacco control law.

Toking, Smoking & Public Health: Lessons from Tobacco Control for Marijuana Regulation (2018)

Updated synopsis of regulatory public health issues related to marijuana legalization analogous to those faced in tobacco control; options for local and state governments developing marijuana regulations.

A Review of Federal and Minnesota Laws on Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Non-motorized Transportation

This report provides a review and analysis of federal and Minnesota state laws and regulations relating to pedestrian, bicycle, and other non-motorized transportation.

Racketeers at the Table: How the Tobacco Industry is Subverting the Public Health Purpose of Tobacco Regulation (2013)

Law synopsis describing the tobacco industry’s long history of misleading the public about the dangers of its products and explaining how the industry’s interest and behavior prevent meaningful participation in the regulation of its products.

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PDF icon tclc-synopsis-racketeers-table-2013.pdf713.27 KB

Global Tobacco Control: What the U.S. Can Learn from Other Countries (2013)

Law synopsis that summarizes ten different tobacco control policy strategies in effect around the world, highlights several countries that are implementing these strategies, describes opposition, reviews unintended consequences or challenges in implementing policies and provides information on each strategy’s effectiveness as a public health measure.

Strategies to Combat Illicit Tobacco Trade (2012)

Law synopsis providing overview of illicit tobacco trade within and across U.S. borders, including suggestions on how state and local governments, as well as health organizations, can contribute to the fight against it.

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PDF icon tclc-syn-smuggling-2012.pdf1.36 MB

Cigarette Tax Evasion in New York (Jan. 2011)

New York State’s high tobacco tax rate helps explain why smoking prevalence in New York is significantly lower than the national average. The potential benefits of tax increases, however, are reduced by tax evasion. This report details some of the problems caused by cigarette tax evasion, as well as some proposed solutions.

Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy

Tobacco Retail Licensing: New York - Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy (Oct. 2010)

This report focuses on the ways that tobacco retail licensing can be used by the state and by local governments in New York to address the serious problems and negative health impacts caused by the proliferation and clustering of tobacco retail establishments.

Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy

License to Kill?: Tobacco Retailer Licensing as an Effective Enforcement Tool

An examination of ways in which state and local officials can use licensure to enforce tobacco tax and point-of-sale laws and also control the location and concentration of tobacco retailers, providing overviews of innovative tobacco retailer licensing programs in California, New York and Massachusetts and describing creative ways in which licensing can be used to impose restrictions on the sale and promotion of tobacco products and promote responsible retailing. Ian McLaughlin, Tobacco Control Legal Consortium (2010).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-retailer-2010.pdf385.35 KB

Workplace Smoking: Options for Employees and Legal Risks for Employers

A law synopsis exploring policy options for employees to make their workplace smoke-free and legal options for employees who remain exposed to secondhand smoke on the job. Leslie Zellers; Samantha K. Graff

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PDF icon tclc-syn-workplace-2008.pdf1.58 MB

Secondhand Smoke Seepage into Multi-Unit Affordable Housing

An overview of legal issues related to the adoption of smoke-free policies in public housing developments and project- and voucher-based section 8 housing, including the health and monetary benefits of providing smoke-free housing for these residents, and summarizing procedures that public housing authorities and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-assisted owners must follow to enact and enforce smoke-free policies. By Susan Schoenmarklin (2010)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-secondhand-2010.pdf1.65 MB

The United States Government’s Racketeering Lawsuit against the Cigarette Industry

A background briefing on the historic U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against leading domestic cigarette manufacturers, including basic allegations, important events during the trial, key testimony and the impact of possible outcomes. Mark Gottlieb, Edward Sweda, Jr. and Sara D. Guardino (2005).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-racketeering-2005.pdf1.87 MB

Pick Your Poison: Responses to the Marketing and Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

An examination of the legal approaches for addressing the marketing and sale of flavored tobacco products to youth. Kathleen Dachille (2009).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-flavored-2009.pdf2.64 MB

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement: Enforcement of Marketing Restrictions

An overview of the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement's restrictions on tobacco product marketing, the MSA enforcement process, several MSA enforcement actions, and future challenges for enforcing MSA marketing restrictions. Dennis Eckhart (2004).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-marketing-2004.pdf231.86 KB

Public Health Policy for Internet Cigarette Retailers

An overview of the problems associated with Internet cigarette retailers and a description of the state and federal laws that can be used to address these problems. Christopher Banthin (2006).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-internet-2006.pdf4.15 MB

The Americans with Disabilities Act: Effective Legal Protection Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure

A synopsis of the law describing when exposure to secondhand smoke qualifies as a disability under the ADA, the scope and constitutionality of Title I and II of the ADA, as well as remedies under the ADA for smoking-related discrimination. By Clifford E. Douglas (2004)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-disabilities-2004.pdf205.47 KB

There is No Constitutional Right to Smoke (2008)

A revised and updated version of our 2005 publication explaining why smoking is not a constitutionally protected right. By Samantha K. Graff

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PDF icon tclc-syn-constitution-2008.pdf1.39 MB

There is No Constitutional Right to Smoke

A 2005 publication explaining why smoking is not a constitutionally protected right. By Samantha K. Graff (2005)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-constitution-2005.pdf2.03 MB

Infiltration of Secondhand Smoke into Condominiums, Apartments and Other Multi-Unit Dwellings: 2009

An updated and revised version of our 2004 synopsis explaining the right of landlords, condominium associations and public housing authorities to prohibit smoking in individual units, solutions for private multi-unit dwellers suffering from secondhand smoke seepage, as well as enforcement issues, including proposed smoke-free language to include in a lease or condominium bylaws. By Susan Schoenmarklin (2009)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-condos-2009.pdf1.73 MB

Legal Options for Condominium Owners Exposed to Secondhand Smoke

An overview of the problems of secondhand smoke seepage in condominiums and the legal and policy remedies available to condominium owners. By Susan Schoenmarklin.

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PDF icon tclc-syn-condos-2006.pdf1.25 MB

Infiltration of Secondhand Smoke into Condominiums, Apartments and Other Multi-Unit Dwellings

A 2004 synopsis explaining the right of landlords, condominium associations and public housing authorities to prohibit smoking in individual units, solutions for private multi-unit dwellers suffering from secondhand smoke seepage, as well as enforcement issues, including proposed smoke-free language to include in a lease or condominium bylaws. Susan Schoenmarklin (2004)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-condos-2004.pdf195.24 KB

Secondhand Smoke and Casinos

An overview of the benefits of establishing smoke-free casinos and the potential legal liability of employers who expose casino employees and customers to secondhand smoke. Micah Berman & Caris Post (2007)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-casinos-2007_0.pdf1.41 MB

Legal Authority to Regulate Smoking and Common Legal Threats and Challenges

A 2004 synopsis outlining governmental authority for regulating smoking and the legal doctrine of preemption, as well as legal challenges to smoke-free ordinances and legal authority of local regulatory bodies for passing smoke-free ordinances. Cheryl Sbarra (2004)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-authority-2004.pdf199.58 KB

Applying Tobacco Control Lessons to Obesity: Taxes and Other Pricing Strategies to Reduce Consumption (2010)

Exploration of the use of tobacco taxation as a legal public health intervention, the potential impact of increased taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, and parallels between dedicated revenue plans for tobacco taxes and the earmarking of sugar-sweetened beverage tax increases for obesity prevention. By Frank J. Chaloupka and Patricia A. Davidson (2010).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-obesity-2010.pdf1.41 MB

Legal Authority to Regulate Smoking and Common Threats and Challenges (2009)

A revised and updated version of our 2004 synopsis outlining governmental authority for regulating smoking and the legal doctrine of preemption, as well as legal challenges to smoke-free ordinances and legal authority of local regulatory bodies for passing smoke-free ordinances. By Cheryl Sbarra

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PDF icon tclc-syn-authority-2009.pdf2.34 MB

Light Cigarette Lawsuits in the United States: 2007

An overview of light cigarette litigation, including a brief history of light cigarettes and their marketing, the role of litigation in tobacco control, light cigarette class actions and individual lawsuits, and federalism issues in light cigarette litigation. By Edward L. Sweda, Jr., Mark Gottlieb, and Christopher N. Banthin (2007).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-light-2007.pdf1.66 MB

Secondhand Smoke and the Family Courts: The Role of Smoke Exposure in Custody and Visitation Decisions

An overview of when and how family courts have considered a child's exposure to secondhand smoke when making custody and visitation decisions. By Kathleen Hoke Dachille and Kristine Callahan (2005).

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PDF icon tclc-syn-family-2005.pdf2.13 MB

Local Land Use Regulation for the Location and Operation of Tobacco Retailers

An overview of ways in which local land use regulations, such as zoning laws, might be used to control the location and operation of tobacco retailers.

Randolph Kline (2004)

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PDF icon tclc-syn-land-2004.pdf180.32 KB