TOBACCO SUIT: HEALTH GROUPS JOIN IN FIGHT FOR KIDS
Four "major nonprofit health organizations" joined the cityThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
of San Francisco today "in a state lawsuit aimed at eliminating
tobacco ads targeted at children," SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
reports. The "historic" suit is the "first time the government
and health organizations" have collaborated in a legal fight
against the tobacco industry, according to San Francisco attorney
Louise Renne. The California suit includes 10 other counties and
the City of San Jose as co-filers.
SUIT UP: The four health organizations that filed as co-
plaintiffs in San Francisco Superior Court are the California
District of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the California
Medical Association (CMA) and the state affiliates of the
American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society. Jack
Lewin, chief executive officer of the CMA, said the suit's goal
is to "to level the playing field with these companies. They are
spending billions in advertising, and if we can get rid of just
the billboards we would be on the right track." He added, "We
are not asking that anyone's right of choice to smoke be taken
away." CHRONICLE notes that the city filed a separate federal
suit earlier this year (see AHL 5/29) to recover the costs of
treating smoking-related illnesses (McLeod, 9/13).
IN PURSUIT: In related news, Erie County in upstate New
York announced plans to sue the tobacco industry to recoup
federal funds spent treating smoking-related illnesses.
WASHINGTON TIMES reports that the county is "taking an initiative
the state so far has refused" (see AHL 9/6). Dennis Gorski, Erie
County executive, said the class action suit will be filed on
behalf of other New York counties (9/13).