Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Obama Administration’s Proposal on Tobacco Regulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Part 2)

In part 1 of our 2 part series about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) we highlighted how Obama’s new tobacco proposal for the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement has created turmoil. Instead of creating a “safe harbor” as originally planned to allow strong anti-smoking laws to remain in place, Obama’s new tobacco clause will allow for more corporate intervention.

What does this look like? Well, we are already seeing this being done in Australia. More trade agreements are including settlement clauses allowing investors to directly make claims against governments. According to this document, these “investor-state dispute settlements” have a “pro-business decision-making culture cultivated by arbitral rules and working practices.” These practices will allow for arbitral adjucators, who are normally lawyers without any public health knowledge, to bring claims against governments. This of course, leaves room for one to believe that these adjucators will have a bias toward tobacco corporations. Read More »

State of Tobacco Control

This is my second year working on the American Lung Association in California’s State of Tobacco Control – California Local Grades report. This report is released in coordination with the national SOTC report which grades all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Federal Government on their tobacco control policies.

Last year, when we began the process in September to grade local city and county tobacco control policies for the California report, I was surprised at how early in the year we started. But in order to ensure that policies are graded accurately and that we can capture all new policies, this timeline is important.

Although it might seem like this year’s report is a long ways away, the truth is that Lung Association staff are already busy at work grading all the policies that have passed this year. One thing that stands out to me from last year is the great way the entire team comes together to make this report the huge success that it is. Read More »

The Obama Administration’s Proposal on Tobacco Regulation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (Part 1)

Susan Liss, the executive director of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, stated, “It is very important for people to understand that the [tobacco] industry is using trade law as a new weapon, and [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] provides an opportunity to put a stop to that.”

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed trade agreement that will be the largest trade agreement since the World Trade Organization (1995). The TPP will include 12 Pacific Rim countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan and other South Eastern Asian countries. This is said to potentially be Obama’s greatest economic achievement yet. So what does this have to do with tobacco?

This trade agreement, like most trade agreements, will work toward eliminating and lowering tariffs for the countries involved. Read More »

ABC’s of Juliette

Meet Juliette, the Center’s Evaluation Consultant! Read her ABC’s to get to know a little more about her.


A is for Area Code: 510

B is for Breakfast. What did you have for breakfast today? Eggs with kale and tomatoes and a big cup of coffee

C is for Calling. What do you consider your calling to be? Promoting democratic processes and public health to improve the world we live in

D is for Dogs. Do you have any? Never have, though my husband and son are working on me

E is for Energy. What do you do when you need more energy? Drink coffee and eat chocolate

F is for Fun. What do you like to do for fun? Travel to adventurous and exotic locations around the world

G is for Greatest Accomplishment. What is yours? I placed in the Intel Science Talent Search as a high school student Read More »

FDA and NIH create Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science

The Food and Drug Administration and the National Institute for Health have teamed up to grant $53 million to fund tobacco-related research. The funding is directed to create the first-of-its kind Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, or TCORS. The TCORS program will bring in investigators from around the country to develop science-based research for the risks associated with tobacco use. The research conducted by the TCORS program will help with understanding the public health issues related to tobacco regulated products. “For the first time, under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, the federal government, through the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), is able to bring science-based regulation to the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of tobacco products,” reported by FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA is committed to a science-based approach that addresses the complex public health issues raised by Read More »