253659 Business as Usual: Tobacco Industry Shenanigans to Thwart Smokefree Progress

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:30 AM

Cynthia Hallett, MPH , Executive Director, American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, Berkeley, CA
Since the 1970s, the nonsmokers' rights movement has made significant progress towards smokefree air. As of January 2011, 23 States, 468 municipalities, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands had a law in effect that requires workplaces, restaurants, and bars to be 100% smokefree, protecting 48% of the U.S. population. While the science around the hazards of secondhand smoke exposure and the health benefits of smokefree laws continue to mount, the opposition from the tobacco, casino, and beverage industries and their allies has not waned. In fact, the amount of opposition has increased this legislative session. At least seven states (Oregon, Washington, Illinois, Minnesota, Hawaii, Nevada, and Massachusetts) with long-standing, pre- existing smokefree laws were threatened by bills that would create new exemptions and permit smoking in bars, cigar bars, casinos, or other currently smokefree spaces. Other states faced other challenges including “License to Smoke” bills that would allow smoking in certain businesses if those businesses paid for a smoking license, an attractive means to legislators to generate revenue during these tough economic times. Lastly, “Exempt and Preempt” bills, a newer form of preemption of local legislative action, were also introduced and passed in some states. This presentation will review the current status of smokefree laws, the outcome of the roll-back attempts, discuss the basis for increased attacks, and suggest means to combat attacks.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe current trends in smokefree air protections and recognize current challenges and threats to these public health laws. Design strategies to prevent attacks on smokefree programmatic and legislative progress.

Keywords: Tobacco Policy, Tobacco Legislation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 20 years of experience in tobacco control.
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.