258249 Smoke-free air law: State case law and legislation on the issue of preemption

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Elizabeth Gallotta, JD, MSEd , Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Regina el Arculli, MA , Director, State Cancer Legislative Database Program, National Cancer Institute Office of Government and Congressional Relations, Bethesda, MD
Ryan Patrick, JD , Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
Stefanie Winston, JD, MPH , Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The MayaTech Corporation, Silver Spring, MD
The National Cancer Institute's State Cancer Legislative Database (SCLD) Program analyzes and reports laws addressing various cancer-related topic areas, including tobacco control. SCLD also contains records for state case law decisions involving tobacco control preemption. Preemption refers to the superseding of a local (e.g., city, town, or municipality) ordinance by a state law. Seventeen states have issued court decisions addressing preemption in tobacco control law. Under preemption, if a state has passed a law restricting, prohibiting, or otherwise controlling tobacco use in public places (e.g., in restaurants, bars, and workplaces), then its local governments may not pass laws that are more restrictive. Only six of these decisions have determined that the law at the state level took precedence over local ordinances. The remaining rulings have upheld the local tobacco control laws, finding that they either did not directly conflict with the state law, or that the state law was not intended to exclusively regulate the subject of indoor smoking. Preemption has been an obstacle for localities seeking to improve the health of their residents by regulating smoking in public places. However, nine states subsequently passed laws banning smoking in public places after their courts issued decisions addressing preemption of local tobacco control laws. Three of these new state laws include language specifically permitting localities to adopt more restrictive ordinances, and one state law explicitly supersedes local laws. This presentation will discuss the role of preemption in comprehensive state tobacco control law and review relevant state case law and corresponding legislation.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact of state preemption of local ordinances addressing smokefree air on residents' health. Identify states with court decisions addressing the preemption of local ordinances addressing smokefree air. Evaluate the interplay of these court decisions with previously existing and subsequently enacted state laws.

Keywords: Tobacco Legislation, Tobacco Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the NCI Project Officer for the NCI's State Cancer Legislative Database Program.
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.