The Public Health Law Center held a reception at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis on August 27, 2019, during the National Conference on Tobacco or Health. At the event, Doug Blanke and Joelle Lester presented the 2019 Game Changer Award to four of our closest partners who have led the fight against menthol tobacco products.
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Decades of scientific research unequivocally established that cigarette smoking causes numerous diseases and conditions, including lung and other cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, erectile dysfunction, and premature/low birth-weight babies.
For many years, the Public Health Law Center has provided commercial tobacco control work under the name of its program, the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium. During this time, as our programs and priorities have grown and evolved, there has been some confusion in the public health community about our two names. To better represent how we do our work in 2019, we have decided to retire the Consortium name and brand.
Why are we making this change now?
Our core focus is health equity and justice.
The Public Health Law Center and the American Lung Association in California were awarded a $6 million, 5-year contract by the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) at the California Department of Health to support commercial tobacco control professionals and advocates in their work to end the commercial tobacco epidemic in California. The contract for the Statewide Policy Implementation and Development Coordination Center begins July 1, 2019.
On July 23, a pro-smoking organization and several residents of public housing filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Their lawsuit is challenging HUD’s authority to require all public housing to be smoke-free.
The e-cigarette brand JUUL became the fastest growing e-cigarette brand in the U.S. in early 2017, surpassing other brands marketed by tobacco industry giants. JUUL was introduced in 2015 by PAX Labs, Inc., based in San Francisco, California, and is now manufactured by JUUL Labs, Inc., which spun off from PAX Labs in 2017. Knock-off products have entered the marketplace including a recent upscale entry, myblu, an offshoot of the e-cigarette brand, blu.
On January 8, 2018, one of the thousands of decades-long legal battles of a former smoker’s estate against Big Tobacco finally came to an end.1 Faye Graham died of lung cancer on November 18, 1993 and shortly thereafter her husband, Earl Graham, joined a class action lawsuit against cigarette manufacturers on his wife’s behalf, seeking compensation for her tobacco caused lung cancer and premature death. The saga of that class action suit, Engle v. R.J.
Food law and policy experts launched the Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP), which identifies and elevates local laws and policies that promote access to healthy food, and contribute to strong local economies, improved environmental quality, and health equity. The project, which focuses on socially disadvantaged and marginalized groups, is available at healthyfoodpolicyproject.org.