Applicant proposes to produce a series of twelve legal policy papers on the
most effective legal strategies that states, municipalities, health
insurers, and public health/interest groups can pursue to reduce tobacco
use and curtail youth access to tobacco products, applicants propose to
produce carefully researched and authoritative legal policy papers on the
scope of authority granted to local governmental bodies -- then identify
six states which reflect the current range of approaches to local
legislation and regulation -- and examine seven key issues for each of the
six stat es; sources from which local governmental bodies in each of the
six states derive the power to restrict and control tobacco sale and use;
bans of tobacco billboards and taxi roof ads; bans on smoking in public
areas such s restaurants; bans of free-standing tobacco product displays;
bans of sampling; vending machine bans;. and the use of compliance checks.
Statewide Reimbursement Legal Policy Research States and health insurers
are beginning to sue for reimbursement from the tobacco industry for
smoking cessation and health expenses to transfer the costs associated with
cessation therapies and tobacco-induced illnesses from the states and
health plan subscribers to the tobacco companies, increasing the price of
tobacco products and reducing consumption, especially consumption by youth.
The tobacco industry has, however, launched constitutional and procedural
attacks designed to de rail this strategy. Investigators propose to
produce policy papers on the viability of three possible strategic: states'
use of consumer protection laws and common law theories to recoup tobacco-
caused medical costs; states' ability to sue tobacco companies for the
medical expenditures caused by tobacco-induced diseases paid from the
Medicaid and group health insurance accounts; the right of private health
insurers to obtain such recovery; and applicants will also investigate the
optimal design an constitutional validity of state legislation that would
strengthen legal procedures for obtaining such reimbursement of health car
costs from the tobacco industry.
Statewide Consumer Protection Legal Policy Research Investigators will
provide state authorities with the legal means to combat illegal
advertising and sales by; examining consumer protection law that may
provide authority for legal action by citizens acting as private attorneys
general, a statewide class action and/or action by attorneys general to
enjoin tobacco companies whose advertising unlawfully and unfairly targets
minors, women and minorities, and require corrective public education
campaigns controlled by independent third parties; and researching athe
ability of states, parents and public interest groups to pursue legal
action under consumer protection laws against retailers that sell
cigarettes to children. The proposed research will enable implementation
of policies which will greatly impact public health.
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