August 2009 - CDC Public Health Law News
Thursday, August 27, 2009
From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
From the Public Health Law Program, Office of Strategy and Innovation, CDC
*** Note to Readers. Beginning this month, The CDC Public Health Law News is changing its publication date from the third Wednesday of the month to the third Thursday of the month. For questions or comments, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
***Public Health Emergency Declaration. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius renewed the public health emergency declaration for novel H1N1 influenza on July 24, 2009. The original declaration was made on April 26, 2009. To read the declaration, visit http://www.hhs.gov/secretary/phe_swh1n1.html.
*** Novel H1N1 Vaccination Recommendations. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has issued recommendations on who should receive the new H1N1 vaccine when it becomes available. To read the recommendations, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.
***Federal Guidelines on School Response to Influenza. CDC has released updated federal guidelines for state and local public health and school officials responding to novel H1N1 influenza and seasonal influenza in schools. The guidance was announced on August 7, 2009, at a joint news conference by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden. To read the guidance, visit http://www.flu.gov.
***School Dismissal Monitoring System. CDC and the U.S. Department of Education have established the School Dismissal Monitoring System to report novel H1N1 influenza-related school or school district dismissal. For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/schools/dismissal_form/index.htm.
***Foodborne Outbreak Guidelines. The Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) has released its Guidelines for Foodborne Outbreak Response. The guidelines target local, state, and federal agencies, provide model practices used in foodborne disease outbreaks, and include recommendations to ensure public health agencies are legally prepared for surveillance and control of foodborne disease outbreaks. CIFOR is composed of seven professional associations and three federal agencies, including CDC. For more information, visit http://www.cifor.us.
***Tobacco Control Act Guidance. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium has released two reports exploring the implications of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act on local and state tobacco control legal authorities and policies. Federal Regulation of Tobacco Products: A Summary and Federal Regulation of Tobacco Products: Impact on State and Local Authority are available at http://www.tobaccolawcenter.org/FDA-fact-sheets.html.
***Call for Manuscripts. The American Journal of Disaster Medicine is accepting original research manuscripts, original papers regarding pandemic planning and medical disaster response, and articles on the legal, ethical, and regulatory issues surrounding disaster medicine response and practices. For more information, visit http://www.disastermedicinejournal.com/.
*** Update of Systematic Reviews of Public Health Laws. Five systematic reviews of public health laws have been published in the Task Force on Community Preventive Services under the category "Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use." All five found the pertinent laws to be effective and the task force recommends their adoption. The reviews are: Enhanced Enforcement of Laws Prohibiting Sales to Minors (http://www.thecommunityguide.org/alcohol/lawsprohibitingsales.html), Regulation of Alcohol Outlet Density (http://www.thecommunityguide.org/alcohol/outletdensity.html), Increasing Alcohol Taxes (http://www.thecommunityguide.org/alcohol/increasingtaxes.html), and Maintaining Limits on Days of Sale (http://www.thecommunityguide.org/alcohol/limitingsale.html), and Ignition Interlocks (http://www.thecommunityguide.org/mvoi/AID/ignitioninterlocks.html.
***WON Conference Materials. On July 27-29, 2009, the CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, hosted Weight of the Nation, its inaugural conference on obesity prevention and control. Selected slides and other materials from the conference, many which are directly relevant to the use of law for obesity prevention and control, are available at http://www/adph.org/ALPHTN/index.asp?id+3775.
***ASTHO Annual Meeting. The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) will host its annual meeting on October 14-16 in Vienna, Virginia. For additional information, please visit http://www.astho.org/Events/Conferences/2009-Annual-Meeting/.
1. Massachusetts: State takes extra steps to battle flu in fall
States and Localities
2. California: California steps up efforts to prevent heat-related deaths among farmworkers
3. Maine: Cardboard cutouts will bring breastfeeding campaign to life
4. South Carolina: S.C. case looks on child obesity as child abuse
5. Senators seek a ban on texting and driving
6. Canada: Feds and provinces don't share pandemic plans
Hawaii emergency shelters · Massachusetts state health insurance · Nevada secondhand smoke lawsuit · New York cabbie cell phone ban · Oregon e-cigarettes ban · South Carolina drinking age · Texas bicycle safety law · National financial impact of flu · Cigarette labels · E. coli guidelines · Canada wood stove ban · China pneumonic plague · India unlawful drug manufacturing · Russia whisky flu preventive · Saudi Arabia pilgrimage restrictions · United Kingdom flu prescription system · International Pfizer lawsuit · Obituary H.A. Engle
Nicotine replacement therapy · Notifiable diseases · House smoking bans · Fatal occupancy injury · Alcohol tax increase · Second hand smoke · MPH graduates' legal preparedness · Restaurant calorie labeling regulations · Acetaminophen labeling changes · H1N1 vaccine · Expert testimony · Tobacco control · FDA tobacco regulation · Test tube families
Alabama smoking ban · Florida fever medication · Iowa brucellosis · Montana tobacco arbitration · New Jersey asbestos · Ohio asbestos · Wisconsin lead paint
Quotation of the Month
Alexander Shprygin, head of VOB, the Russian soccer fan association
"State takes extra steps to battle flu in fall"
Boston Globe (08/13/2009) Stephen Smith
Last week, the Massachusetts Public Health Council voted unanimously to allow dentists, paramedics, and pharmacists to help administer vaccines for both the novel H1N1 flu and the seasonal flu. Under the new guidelines, as many as 21,000 volunteer dentists, pharmacists, and paramedics could assist, significantly expanding the number of qualified vaccinators. "If you have many people coming, you want more lanes open," said Dr. Lauren Smith, medical director of Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The Council, an appointed panel of providers and policy specialists, also promulgated guidelines requiring clinics and hospitals to implement programs to ensure that all employees are offered influenza vaccinations annually. The guidelines were established to prevent a diminished workforce; all available health care workers may be needed to provide patient care if influenza activity is high. The programs also are aimed at reducing transmission of influenza from providers to their patients. "It's a population we want to make sure gets immunized. We can't afford to lose them to illness in the midst of a pandemic," said Dr. Alan Woodward, a member of the Public Health Council.
[Editor's Note: To read the new guidelines, visit http://www2a.cdc.gov/phlp/docs/reg_vaccine_phc_memo.pdf ,
http://www2a.cdc.gov/phlp/docs/105cmr700_003_004_attB.pdf , and
"California steps up efforts to prevent heat-related deaths among farmworkers"
Los Angeles Times (08/03/2009) Anna Gorman
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California has filed a lawsuit alleging that the state of California is failing to prevent heat-related illness and death among farmworkers. In 2005 the state passed a law which requires employers to supply enough water for all employees, provide shade for workers, and conduct training on heat illness prevention. Despite state efforts to expand outreach and increase inspections, many employers do not follow the heat standards, and as many as ten farmworkers have died from suspected heat-related reasons since the law was enacted. The state Occupational Safety and Health Division (OSHA) said that limited resources prevent it from ensuring that all employers comply with the law. During recent inspections, the division temporarily shut down ten farms and issued more than $45,000 in fines for violations. Additionally, many farmworkers keep working even if they feel sick because they do not want to be fired. "The supervisor tells us that there is water there, but if we drink that water and they see it and we fall behind, they will let us go," said Julio Hernandez, a farmworker. California OSHA twice has proposed emergency amendments to the heat standards, requiring that shade be available within a five-minute walk when the temperature is at least 85 degrees, but the standards board did not adopt them.
"Cardboard cutouts will bring breastfeeding campaign to life"
Portland Press Herald (08/01/2009) Meredith Goad
A new state law requiring employers to provide paid or unpaid break time for nursing mothers to express breast milk goes into effect in Maine on September 12. Additionally, the law bars discrimination against nursing mothers in the workplace, and requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a clean room other than a bathroom for mothers to use when expressing milk. In conjunction with the law, the state Public Health Division is conducting an awareness campaign that will feature six life-size cutouts of breastfeeding mothers placed around Portland, and the city is setting aside areas for breast-pumping in all city buildings. The cutouts will hold cards explaining the law and providing breastfeeding resources for new mothers. Portland city officials hope the law and campaign will make breastfeeding by working mothers more acceptable. "The idea is that women who are returning to work after having a baby feel more supported in making that decision to continue breastfeeding," said Nicole Clegg, Portland city spokeswoman.
"S.C. case looks on child obesity as child abuse"
USA Today (07/20/2009) Ron Barnett
A South Carolina mother has been arrested and charged with criminal neglect for placing her fourteen year old son "at an unreasonable risk of harm" because his weight of 555 pounds was allegedly "serious and threatening to his health." This follows similar cases in Texas, Pennsylvania, New York, New Mexico, Indiana, and California. In all but California, state courts ruled that the children were victims of neglect, expanding the legal definition of medical neglect to include morbid obesity. Grant Varner, the South Carolina mother's attorney, worries that the trend could lead to criminal action against parents of children with other eating disorders. "Are they going to start arresting parents because their child is too thin?" he says. Richard Balnave, a University of Virginia law professor says, however, that most state laws require that a child's health be in imminent danger before charges can be filed. Additionally, the parent must be capable of helping the child, but have not taken action. Many states have been implementing programs to fight the growing trend of childhood obesity. According to "F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America," twenty states require schools to conduct weight-related screenings of children.
"Senators seek a ban on texting and driving"
New York Times (07/30/09) Matt Richtel
Legislation introduced into the U.S. Senate on July 29 seeks to ban texting while driving. Under the proposed legislation, states would forfeit 25 percent of annual highway funding if they do not enact a texting ban within two years. The legislation responds to several recent studies, including one by the University of Utah demonstrating that drivers are eight times more likely to crash if texting, twice the risk resulting from having a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an agency representing state highway safety agencies, reports that fourteen states and the District of Columbia currently ban texting while driving; New York has a ban pending. The legislation, which is based on the 1984 drinking age legislation, concerns some states. "We oppose the sanctioning of states since there is not yet a proven effective method for enforcing a texting or cellphone ban," said Jonathan Adkins, a spokesperson for the GHSA. But proponents of the bill say that it will create awareness of the danger. "Studies show this is far more dangerous than talking on a phone while driving or driving drunk," said New York Senator Charles E. Schumer, a sponsor of the bill.
"Feds and provinces don't share pandemic plans"
Canwest News Service (07/27/2009) Andrew Mayeda
Although a memorandum of understanding on information sharing during a health emergency was approved by Canada's federal, provincial, and territorial health ministers in September 2008, not all provinces and territories have signed the agreement. University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran says that the Public Health Agency of Canada needs the agreement to quickly inform Canadians about protective measures. "In times of epidemic emergencies, time equals lives. That's especially important when you're dealing with an epidemic that's growing exponentially," he says. The Agency relies on clinical data and laboratory reports from the provinces to make policy decisions. Recommendations for the information sharing agreement stemmed from an investigation after the SARS outbreak in 2003 that revealed gaps in Canada's infectious disease response systems.
Hawaii: Emergency shelters set up for special health needs, pets
"55 shelters designated for pets during disasters"
Honolulu Advertiser (07/21/2009)
Massachusetts: Legislature provides only partial health insurance for legal immigrants
"Massachusetts adjusts a cut"
New York Times (07/30/09) Abby Goodnough
Nevada: Blackjack dealer sues casino over removal of non-smoking areas
"Ex-dealer sues over exposure to smoke"
Las Vegas Review-Journal (07/24/09) Howard Stutz
New York: Cab driver cell phone ban largely unenforced
"Cabbies stay on their phones despite ban"
New York Times (08/04/09) Michael M. Grynbaum
Oregon: No sale of e-cigarettes unless sellers provide scientific evidence to support safety claims
"Oregon AG moves to block 'E-cigarette' sales"
The Oregonian (07/30/09) Laura Gunderson
South Carolina: Courts rule ban on possession, consumption of alcohol unconstitutional
"Is drinking-age law constitutional?"
The State (08/03/2009) Rick Brundrett
Texas: Law requiring motorists to give bicyclists wide berth vetoed despite support
"Cyclists criticize Texas Gov. Rick Perry over veto of safety measure"
Dallas Morning News (08/06/2009) Jon Nielsen
National: Adults most worried about financial impact of missing work due to flu
"Americans worried about flu's impact on finances"
New York Times (07/20/2009) Roni Caryn Rabin
National: New law requires cigarette labels to carry graphic warnings
"Packing a heavier warning"
Washington Post (08/04/2009) Ranit Mishori
National: USDA, FDA issue new guidance for reducing E. coli contamination
"USDA to expand testing to reduce E. coli in beef"
Reuters (07/31/2009) Christopher Doering and Charles Abbott
Canada: Lawsuit claims wood stove ban not supported by scientific evidence
"Wood stove ban could go to court"
The Gazette (07/30/2009) Megan Martin
China: Town quarantined, disinfected after three deaths from pneumonic plague
"China disinfects town where plague killed 3rd man"
Associated Press (08/04/2009) Henry Sanderson
India: Public asked to provide information on unlawful drug manufacturing
"New whistle blower scheme to control spurious drugs"
Asian News International (07/22/2009)
Russia: Soccer fans ignore travel warnings, will drink whisky to prevent flu
"Fans urged to drink whisky to ward off swine flu"
Reuters (08/03/2009) Gennady Fyodorov
Saudi Arabia: Pilgrims must show proof of flu shots, free of chronic disease
"Saudi Arabia to impose new restrictions on pilgrims to prevent spread of swine flu"
Associated Press (08/05/2009)
United Kingdom: Doctors will remotely diagnose flu and distribute antivirals
"Alarm over DIY swine flu prescription as system open to abuse"
The Times (07/23/2009) David Rose and Kaya Burgess
International: Pfizer settles with Nigeria over alleged misconduct during drug trials
"Pfizer, Nigeria settle lawsuit over children harmed in 1996 antibiotic experiment"
Associated Press (07/29/2009) Linda A. Johnson
Florida: Lead plaintiff in landmark suit against tobacco industry
H.A. Engle, tobacco plaintiff, dies at 89
New York Times (07/24/2009) Bruce Weber
"The impact of changing nicotine replacement therapy licensing laws in the United Kingdom: findings from the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey"
Addiction (07/09) Lion Shahab and Others
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121441734/abstract (subscription required)
"How do Iranian physicians report notifiable diseases? The first report from Iran"
American Journal of Infection Control (07/09) Forouz Nader and Mehrdad Askarian
"Home smoking bans in an urbanizing community in China"
American Journal of Preventative Medicine (08/09) Min Ji and Others
http://www.ajpm-online.net/article/S0749-3797(09)00298-0/abstract (subscription required)
"Political economy of U.S. states and rates of fatal occupational injury"
American Journal of Public Health (08/09) Dana Loomis and Others
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/8/1400 (subscription required)
"Effects of alcohol tax increases on alcohol-related disease mortality in Alaska: time-series analyses from 1976 to 2004"
American Journal of Public Health (08/09) Alexander Wagenaar, Mildred Maldonado-Molina, and Bradley Wagenaar
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/8/1464 (subscription required)
"Secondhand smoke in Pennsylvania casinos: a study of nonsmokers' exposure, dose, and risk"
American Journal of Public Health (08/09) James L. Repace
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/8/1478 (subscription required)
"Assessing the legal and ethical preparedness of master of public health graduates"
American Journal of Public Health (08/09) Brian Agee and Ronald W. Gimbel
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/8/1505 (subscription required)
"Use of revised international health regulations during influenza A (H1N1) epidemic, 2009"
Emerging Infectious Disease (08/09) Rebecca Katz
"Public health action amid scientific uncertainty: the case of restaurant calorie labeling regulations"
Journal of the American Medical Association (07/09) David Ludwig and Kelly Brownwell
FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT (subscription required)
"FDA focuses on drugs and liver damage: labeling and other changes for acetaminophen"
Journal of the American Medical Association (07/09) Bridget M. Kuehn
Journal of the American Medical Association (07/09) Bridget M. Kuehn
"The hypothetical question in expert testimony"
Journal of the American Medical Association (07/09)
"Unfinished business in tobacco control"
Journal of the American Medical Association (08/09) Jonathan Samet and Heather Wipfli
"Tobacco, public health, and the FDA"
New England Journal of Medicine (07/09) Gregory Curfman, Stephen Morrissey, and Jeffrey Drazen
"Test tube families: why the fertility market needs legal regulation"
New England Journal of Medicine (07/09) Naomi R. Cahn
Alabama: Ban on smoking in enclosed public places does not violate Alabama Constitution
Gann v. City of Gulf Shores
Court of Criminal Appeals of Alabama
Decided August 7, 2009
Opinion by Judge Main
http://www.alalinc.net/ (subscription required)
Florida: Haiti fever medication deaths case dismissed due to lack of personal jurisdiction
Vos v. Payen
Court Of Appeal of Florida, Third District
Opinion filed July 15, 2009
Opinion by Judge Rothenberg
Iowa: Meat packer who contracted brucellosis entitled to workers' compensation benefits
IBP, Inc., v. Burress
Supreme Court of Iowa
Opinion filed July 10, 2009
Opinion by Judge Streit
Montana: Court reverses tobacco company's motion to compel arbitration
Montana v. Philip Morris, Inc.
Supreme Court of Montana
Decided August 5, 2009
Opinion by Judge James C. Nelson
New Jersey: Judgment for paper mill workers exposed to asbestos affirmed
Sarkozy v. A.P. Green Industries, Inc.
Superior Court Of New Jersey, Appellate Division
Decided July 31, 2009
Per curiam opinion
Ohio: Defendant not liable for bodily injury from workplace exposure to asbestos
Beany v. The Ohio State University
Court of Claims of Ohio
Opinion filed July 9, 2009
Opinion by Judge J. Craig Wright
Wisconsin: Lead paint defective design claim denied
Godoy v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company
Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Opinion filed July 14, 2009
Opinion by Justice Ann Walsh Bradley
__________PHL NEWS QUOTATION OF THE MONTH___________
"We urge our fans to drink a lot of Welsh whisky as a form of disinfection."
-- Alexander Shprygin, head of VOB, the Russian soccer fan association, on how fans traveling to Wales for September's World Cup qualifier can ward off the H1N1 virus. Russia's Health Ministry has issued a public warning against traveling to Britain because of the virus.
The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge. News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and DHHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or DHHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or DHHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or DHHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC. The News is in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the CDC Public Health Law News should be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.
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The News is published by the Public Health Law Program, Office of Strategy and Innovation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Lindsay Culp, M.P.H., Acting Editor. Special thanks to Emily McCormick, Mailyn Fidler, and Robin Freeman for their work on this issue.