205806 Eliminating smoke-free air preemption to achieve national health objectives: Methods and progress toward Healthy People 2010

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Michael A. Tynan , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Stephen Babb, MPH , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Allison MacNeil, MPH , Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and illness in the United States. The establishment of smoke-free environments is a proven method for reducing tobacco use and reducing exposure to secondhand smoke.

Local communities can, and often do, impose more stringent smoking restrictions than state laws. Local communities may also protect the public health by enacting a smoking ordinance when the state legislature does not take action or when the state law offers limited protections.

However, preemptive language in a state smoke-free air law prohibits local communities from enacting smoke-free ordinances that differ from the state law. With preemption, the state law effectively becomes the ceiling – not the floor – and prohibits local communities from continuing to establish and enforce smoke-free air protections that build upon the state law. The tobacco industry supports the inclusion of preemption in state laws to avoid having to combat anti-smoking efforts on the local level. The elimination of preemption laws is a Healthy People 2010 national health objective.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) System, as of January 1, 2009, 13 states have laws that preempt communities from enacting smoke-free air laws in public places.

Strategies used to reverse preemption vary depending on the state. In addition to providing an overview of the current status of preemption in the U.S., this presentation will offer select case-studies from the 10 states that since 1995 have used differing legislative and legal methods to eliminate preemption.

Learning Objectives:
Identify states with preemption of local smoke-free air laws Compare and Analyze methods states use to eliminate preemption Explain why the elimination of local preemption of smoke-free laws is a Healthy People objective.

Keywords: Tobacco Legislation, Public Health Legislation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Michael Tynan is a public health analyst in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Office on Smoking of Health. He is the office’s strategic coordinator for secondhand smoke activities. He is experienced in conducting complex research and analysis of state and local tobacco control laws, with a specific focus on smoke-free air and preemption laws. Recent Publications and Presentations include: Tynan M. State Smoking Prohibitions in Public Places. Oral Presentation at the National Environmental Health Association. 2009, Atlanta, GA. Tynan M, Babb S, MacNeil A. State Smoking Restrictions for Private-Sector Worksites, Restaurants, and Bars --- United States, 2004 and 2007. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2008; 57(20);549-552. O’Connor JC, MacNeil A, Chriqui JF, Tynan M, Bates H, Eidson SKS. Preemption of local smoke-free air ordinances: the implications of judicial opinions for meeting national health objectives. The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 2008;36(2):403–12. Tynan M, Eidson SKS, O'Connor JC, elArculli R. Smoke-free air in state correctional facilities: What is the law? Oral Presentation at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association 2007, Washington, D.C.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.