On January 5, 2016, The Public Health Law Center filed a friend-of-the court (amicus curiae) brief in support of New York City’s groundbreaking new rule requiring that fast food restaurants place salt shaker warning symbols next to menu items that are high in sodium. The brief, developed in collaboration with the Public Good Law Center and ChangeLab Solutions, was joined by a dozen other leading medical and public health organizations.
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When the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law in 2009, giving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products, it created a group of scientists called the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) to guide agency decision-making. The Act directed TPSAC to take up the issue of menthol tobacco products as its first order of business.
In a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers surveying e-cigarette use by Connecticut teens found that nearly one in five high school students who admit to using an electronic smoking device have also used it to vaporize cannabis or byproducts like hash oil and wax infused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive cannabis ingredient.
Recent news reports have touted that e-cigarettes are “95% safer than cigarettes” after Public Health England used the statistic in an announcement that the harm-reduction potential of e-cigarettes should be promoted. That statistic, the source of which is problematic, is now being used and misrepresented by many sources. The fact remains that stringent regulation of all tobacco products is the safest path forward for public health.
Local government planners have historically played an important role in preventing and curbing dangerous health conditions such as cholera, yellow fever and diphtheria. Today, planners have the opportunity to address chronic health issues, including coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.
Nicotine is an acute toxin that can cause vomiting, seizures, respiratory failure, and death if consumed in even a small dose. For example, one teaspoon of a solution with a nicotine concentration level of 1.8 percent could be fatal to a 200-pound person. A considerably smaller amount would be fatal to a child.
Imagine you are a new mother planning to return to work following your maternity leave. You’ve heard the recommendations from international and national health organizations to continue exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life. Because of these recommendations and the countless health benefits associated with breastfeeding for both you and your baby, you decide to continue breastfeeding.
A recent ruling in a case about the labeling of meat products could have significant implications for tobacco control and many other areas of public health. The American Meat Institute v. United States Dept. of Agriculture case concerns mandatory disclosures to consumers. Mandatory disclosure laws play a crucial role in protecting public health, safety and the environment.
It was a small thing, really. Just one statement. But as small things often do, it made a difference.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently took a small but important step in tobacco product regulation. The agency started the process to bring e-cigarettes, cigars, dissolvable tobacco products, and hookah under its regulatory authority. When the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law in 2009, the FDA was only required to regulate cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco.