4010.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 1

Abstract #8702

How California coalitions survived ten years of tobacco wars

Elizabeth Emerson, MA, Tobacco Education Program, Marin County, CA Health Services, 1682 Novato Boulevard, Suite 150-C, Novato, CA 94947, 415-499-4216, Eliemerson@aol.com

California's sixty two local tobacco control coalitions were influential in the passage of very progressive tobacco control legislation which included smoke free work place laws, including restaurants and bars, youth tobacco access laws, tobacco tax iniatives, divestment of tobacco stocks from public funds, and numerous other campaigns which impacted tobacco consumption in the state. These efforts often met with opposition such as legal challenges, harassment by the tobacco industry through the misuse of the Freedom of Information Act, subpeonas, front groups leading local misinformation campaigns, bureaucratic inertia, overwhelming work loads and political resistance. How these coalitions and staff survived the past ten years is a story which offers hard won lessons. Those who remained learned to develop extraordinary skills. Participants of this session will acquire seven techniques for coalition maintenance and self care, some of which draw on intuitive practices from other cultures as well as martial arts principles. These techniques were shared with the author in interviews of 44 members of local and statewide coalitions who participated in successful public health campaigns.

Learning Objectives: Participants will learn seven proven methods of coalition maintenance and self care techniques, drawn on the experience of public health activistis who encountered tobacco industry opposition to their work, sometimes for years at a time

Keywords: Coalition, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: County health departments and local tobacco control coalitions of California
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am an employee of Marin County, since 1990.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA