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Public Health Law News Round-up – November and December

posted on Tue, Dec 20 2016 3:44 pm by The Network

Some of the public health issues that made news headlines recently include President Obama’s signing of the 21st Century CURES Act, tobacco 21 laws, FDA warnings to tobacco manufacturers and voter response to proposed marijuana laws and soda tax propositions.

President Obama Signs $6.3 billion ‘21st Century Cures Act’ – Newsline
President Obama recently signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. The complex legislation promises to increase funding for disease research, improve the mental health care system, and significantly alter the regulatory system for drugs and medical devices. Overwhelming approved in both the House and Senate, consumer groups and some members of congress had expressed concern over aspects of the bill.

Columbus City Council approves measure banning sale of tobacco to those under 21NBC WCMH –TV
Columbus, OH recently passed a Tobacco 21 bill, effectively raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21. Supporters of the bill say it will help prevent teenagers from smoking by widening the age gap between those still in high school and those who are able to purchase tobacco. The new law, however, will not criminalize the physical act of smoking for those under 21.

FDA warns four companies for labeling flavored cigarettes as cigars – Reuters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to four tobacco manufacturers for selling flavored cigarettes as cigars. The Tobacco Control Act, signed into law in 2009, prohibits the sale of candy or fruit flavored cigarettes in an effort to reduce the appeal of cigarettes among youth.

Cops to offer addicts help under new law –
States are taking additional measures to try and curb the rising opioid epidemic including passing laws increasing access to the overdose medication naloxone along with laws that facilitate emergency assistance for people who are overdosing. A new law recently enacted in New Jersey will allow police officers to assist addicts in obtaining treatment.

New law requires salon workers in Illinois get domestic violence training – Northwest Herald
Twenty-seven percent of women and nearly 12 percent of men in the United States have experienced intimate partner violence. This type of violence affects the physical, psychological, and emotional well-being of victims and their families and is a significant public health issue. The CDC sites the importance of creating protective environments where people work, live, and play as a key component of prevention. A new, first-of-its kind law recently passed in Illinois hopes to provide support for victims of intimate partner violence in a place where they often feel safe in confiding their situation—at their hairdresser’s.

Marijuana and soda taxes win big, but cigarette taxes fail in several state votes – Stat
This November, a record number of states voted on marijuana use with five considering recreational legalization and four more deciding on whether to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Other health related measures on ballots this election included the passage of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, which was on the ballot in four U.S. cities. These measures proved popular with voters who overwhelming voted yes to these initiatives.

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 post does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult an attorney in their state.

Support for the Network is provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, RWJF.

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