Thursday, June 2, 2022
Many states introduced or passed laws that restricted the ability of state and local public health officials, governors, and others to respond to the immediate threat of COVID-19 (including emergency orders, vaccinations, masking, and closures), as well as future public health threats. This resource The Network’s latest 50 State Survey details COVID-19-related laws and pending legislation, and broader enacted and proposed limitations on public health authority in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read more.
The FDA’s Proposed Rules Prohibiting Menthol in Cigarettes and All Characterizing Flavors in Cigars Will Advance Public Health and Health Equity
Big Tobacco has historically targeted youth, the LGBTQ+ community, and African Americans with tailored marketing campaigns for menthol tobacco products. Menthol is a flavor additive that reduces the harshness and irritation of smoking, and enhances the addictive effects of nicotine in the brain. Similarly, it increases the chances that youth who begin smoking will habitually use these products. On April 28 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took an important step toward advancing health equity by announcing two proposed rules that will reduce tobacco-related health disparities.
Tougher Criminal Penalties Won’t End Overdose Deaths
In 2021, nearly 108,000 people in the U.S. died of a drug overdose; around 75 percent of those overdoses involved an opioid, largely driven by the increased presence of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, in the nation’s illicit drug supply. While many jurisdictions are making moves toward evidence-based harm reduction measures to save lives, others are increasing penalties for those who possess and sell fentanyl.
Legality of Drug Checking Equipment in Illinois
In 2021, nearly two thirds of overdose deaths in the U.S. involved a synthetic opioid, most commonly fentanyl. Fentanyl is more potent than many other opioids and because it’s difficult for people who use heroin and other street opioids to know or control the amount of fentanyl present in an opioid, they are at a heightened risk for overdose. Because no safe supply of many drugs is readily available, helping people who use drugs determine what is in those drugs can reduce overdose morbidity and mortality. This fact sheet examines the legality of distributing drug checking equipment in Illinois, equipment that can provide detailed analysis of the substances present in a drug sample.
The Ongoing Racial Paradox of the Medicaid Program
This article published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law reviews the history of the Medicaid program, from its inception during the civil rights era to the present day. The article also examines how, while being the largest public health insurance program for low-income people and expanding coverage to millions of adults, the Medicaid program has perpetuated racial disparities.
Pain in the Nation 2022: U.S. Experienced Highest Ever Combined Rates of Deaths Due to Alcohol, Drugs, and Suicide During the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic
This report, published by Trust for America's Health and Well Being Trust, notes that deaths associated with alcohol, drugs, and suicide took the lives of 186,763 Americans in 2020, a 20 percent one-year increase in the combined death rate and the highest number of substance misuse deaths ever recorded for a single year. The report found that these deaths disproportionally harmed young people and people of color. The report includes recommendations for steps the federal, state, and local governments should take to begin to reverse the deaths of despair crisis.
Preemption and Policymaking in Public Health Law: From Local to Global
June 7, 2022 10:00 AM Pacific Time
ChangeLab Solutions, the Georgetown Project on State and Local Government Policy and Law, and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law are hosting this webinar examining how the increasing use of preemptive laws—laws that enable a higher level of government (e.g., federal or state government) to limit or eliminate the power of a lower level of government (e.g., state or local government)—have thwarted local policymaking that promotes health and advances health equity. Register here.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
The Network seeks an individual who is passionate about health and social justice to join us as our Marketing and Communications Specialist to help us successfully raise our national profile, engage with our key constituents, expand our reach, and improve our support to communities. The Marketing and Communications Specialist must be a tech savvy self-starter with excellent verbal and written communication skills, and will be responsible for developing and implementing communication, marketing, and outreach campaigns and programs. This position is based at the Network’s National Office in Edina, Minnesota, and reports to the Associate Director, Marketing Communications. View the full description and apply here.
The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation is looking for a policy analyst who will be focused solely on the California Tobacco Control Program’s (CTCP) Policy Evaluation Tracking System (PETS). This person should have experience analyzing local laws, ideally public health/tobacco-related policies, ideally possess a law degree, and be articulate, energetic, organized, and detail-oriented. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. See the full job description and apply here.
ChangeLab Solutions, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that utilizes law and policy to advance health equity, is seeking to fill several attorney and senior attorney positions. Staff members in the attorney role conduct legal research and analysis as part of collaborative interdisciplinary project teams; produce high-quality written products; develop customized, interactive trainings (presented both in person and virtually); and provide technical assistance to government agencies, community-based organizations, policymakers, and public officials across the nation. Read the full job description and apply here.
Your interest in the work of the Network is important. Together, we can advance law as a tool to improve public health. Please forward the Network Report and encourage others to join the Network!
The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.