Online Program

What can state and local governmets do about tobacco addiction

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

Richard A. Daynard, JD, PhD, Public Health Advocacy Institute, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
Many steps have been taken at the state and local levels to reduce cigarette addiction, including large tax increases, smoke-free public places, counter-advertising, quitting assistance, banning sales to teenagers, and public education. Together with the delegitimization of the tobacco industry following incriminating revelations from their internal documents obtained in litigation, these steps have reduced US smoking prevalence by about 50%.None of these steps, however, have sought to end cigarette addiction entirely. The Smoke-free Generation proposal seeks to do just that. It would raise the minimum age of sale each year by one year, a legal power that all states and many localities presently possess. For example, if a jurisdiction began the process in 2018, no one who was born on or after January 1, 2000 could ever be sold cigarettes there, since each year the minimum age would be one year older. Thus, residents currently 13 or younger would never legally be sold cigarettes, never have peers who smoked legally, and never have to try to break the addiction. Older cohorts would be "grandfathered" in, but would increasingly lose normative status. American teenagers today have very low smoking rates and opinions of smoking, and may take kindly to the proposal. Even smoking parents do not want their children to smoke, ever. Only the tobacco industry would lose. Strengths of and responses to objections to the proposal will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
List and describe policies that have been effective in decreasing smoking among youths. Explain how does the Smoke-free Generation proposal work? Analyze legal capacity of states and localities to adopt and implement it. Assess the strengths of the proposal, and of responses to objections.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have written and lectured extensively about the misbehavior of the tobacco industry and its legal implications. More recently, I have published articles and an op ed about end game strategies, including the smokefree generation proposal I will be discussing in my talk.
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.