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.
The Public Health Law Center is pleased to announce that, on Friday, October 27, tobacco control and public health groups weighed in on a lawsuit challenging health warnings. In 2015, San Francisco enacted an ordinance requiring that signs advertising sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) include a label, covering 20 percent of the sign, that reads “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.”
Created as a tobacco control policy organization in 2000, the Public Health Law Center is now helping public health advocates prevent chronic disease and advance health equity with its extensive work in both tobacco control policy, and healthy eating and active living policy. New program directors Julie Ralston Aoki and Joelle Lester have recently hired a number of attorneys and policy analysts for both policy teams, which marks a new chapter in the organization’s development and capacity.
On November 26, cigarette manufacturers will place ads in over three dozen newspapers and broadcast primetime television ads on all of the major networks. Millions of Americans will be told the truth about the harmful effects of tobacco products, and, for the first time ever, this information will be paid for by tobacco companies themselves. These court-ordered “corrective statements” announce what the industry actually knew about nicotine addiction and tobacco-caused disease for many years, despite its public denials.
On July 28, 2017, the FDA announced a comprehensive regulatory plan for tobacco products that establishes a cohesive agency-wide approach to nicotine. We applaud Commissioner Gottlieb’s commitment to working towards a world where fewer people die prematurely as a result of addictive tobacco products. We also continue to appreciate Director Zeller’s leadership at the Center for Tobacco Products and look forward to working with him and other FDA staff as this plan is implemented.
Our attorneys at the Tobacco Control Legal Consortium have recently received a deluge of questions from people throughout the U.S.
Few settings offer greater opportunity for improving our nation’s health than the child care environment. The experiences of early childhood, good and bad, lay the foundation for a lifetime. Non-parental child care settings provide a unique forum for shaping those experiences. A strategic approach, based on a holistic healthy child model, can draw on the power of law and policy to support children’s mental and emotional well-being, promote social development, mitigate Adverse Childhood Experiences, and address fundamental social determinants of health.
In an important ruling protecting the role of state and local governments as America’s public health leaders, an appellate court has upheld New York City’s groundbreaking requirement that chain restaurants warn diners about menu items containing dangerous levels of salt. Under the law, chain restaurant menus must display a salt shaker warning icon alongside any menu offering containing more sodium than is recommended for consumption in an entire day. Amazingly, an estimated twenty percent of chain restaurant menu items contain more than a full day’s worth of salt.