Thursday, 21 November 2002 - 9:00 AM
Hilton San Francisco Union Square 23 & 24 (110)

This presentation is part of POLI-284. Practical Advice for Achieving Clean Indoor Air

One Town at a Time: North American Communities Make Clean Indoor Air Laws Work!

Elizabeth Emerson, MA, Marin County Tobacco Education Program, eemerson@marin.org

Learning Objectives: Describe how California communities were able to pass clean indoor air policies, one town at a time. Describe practical tips in setting up effective enforcement for clean indoor air policies.

Abstract: This abstract summarizes the author’s interviews with 53 leaders of the smoke-free movement that was summarized in “California Lessons In Clean Indoor Air,” which is now a training tool for tobacco control programs in North, Central and South America. The research highlighted key lessons in clean indoor air campaigns from large urban, rural, tourist, small and mid-sized communities. Interviews with the author revealed valuable practical tips in setting up effective enforcement for clean indoor air policies. The story of how local coalitions gained victory over tobacco industry opposition, one town at a time, as the movement spread statewide, offers insights for other public health movements. Most of the interviewees worked inside public health systems, learning how to successfully overcome bureaucratic inertia, government resistance and tobacco industry opposition. They used tools such as media advocacy, coalition maintenance, business leaders breakfasts, legislative advocacy, public events, and a variety of successful strategies to enact clean indoor air laws. Enforcement strategies included: publicity, business notification kits, media events, city county enforcement partnerships and specific legal tools for chronic violations. The interviewees candidly shared their costly mistakes with the author, as well as their insiders tips on how to translate science into public health policy with an over 95% compliance rate with 100% smoke free ordinances. These lessons have universal applicability in many states and countries, saving tobacco control advocate time, public funds, and energy as they learn from their peers in this truly inspirational and motivating story.

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