February 19, 2013

What were the top ten publications downloaded from our website in 2012? Some — like our farm bill primer and our national joint use toolkit — were just released last year, while others — like our smokefree housing fact sheets for tenants and landlords — are updated versions that are regularly in the top ten. ChangeLab Solutions looks forward to bringing you more fact sheets, model policies, toolkits, and legal analysis in the coming year!


February 5, 2013

Because the negative health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are well documented, one of the most important steps a community can take to improve the health of its residents is to create more smokefree spaces—especially where people live.

ChangeLab Solutions has developed a series of tools to help California cities and counties better understand, plan, and implement policies to establish smokefree housing. We offer model ordinance language, fact sheets, how-to-guides, and more, available at no cost from our website. Our staff attorneys also can review draft policies, lead workshops and trainings, and provide one-on-one assistance and answers to your most challenging legal questions.  

Our team has been working with California communities on secondhand smoke issues for more than a decade. Contact us for help as you work to advance policies to limit exposure to secondhand smoke in your community.

January 15, 2013

License to Kale, a proposal for a new new model licensing ordinance for healthy food retailers, was awarded second place in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine's Childhood Obesity Challenge. Inspired by the successful use of licensing laws to reduce tobacco sales to young people, this groundbreaking model ordinance can help communities nationwide set a healthy baseline for all retail outlets that sell foods and beverages.

The Childhood Obesity Challenge is an online competition for innovators of all backgrounds to submit promising solutions to the obesity epidemic. The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is aligned with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio goal of accelerating progress and creating transformative change in health through innovation. We at ChangeLab Solutions are honored to receive this award, and grateful for the recognition from our peers.

January 14, 2013

ChangeLab Solutions announces its involvement in two of 12 new research projects funded by Public Health Law Research (PHLR), a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

State Laws that Block Local Tobacco Policies

Do states that block cities and counties from enacting tobacco control laws see higher rates of smoking and tobacco-related diseases in the long run? A new research project aims to find out.

ChangeLab Solutions has announced the launch of a new study looking at the health effects of state laws that preempt local policies addressing, for instance, smoking in workplaces and public places, youth access to tobacco products, and tobacco advertising.

The study will examine the impact on public health behaviors and outcomes, including adult and youth tobacco initiation, use, and cessation rates, lung cancer rates, and other chronic diseases associated with tobacco use.

The research findings will inform issues beyond tobacco control. Preemption – the invalidation of state law by federal law, or local law by state law – has also been used to block local obesity prevention interventions.

The study will be led by Anne Pearson, JD, MA, vice president of programs at ChangeLab Solutions, and Jamie Chriqui, PhD, MHS, senior research scientist with the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Analyzing the Costs and Impacts of Joint Use Agreements

Schools often keep facilities like gyms, fields, and playgrounds locked up after hours because of concerns about security, liability, and maintenance. But many cities and towns are resolving these issues through joint use agreements: written contracts spelling out terms that allow public agencies and nonprofits to share responsibilities and allow public access for recreation use.

In a new research study funded by PHLR, ChangeLab Solutions will partner with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to assess the costs and impacts of opening schoolyards to the public through joint use agreements.

For more on both projects described here, see


January 7, 2013

Despite the demise of the Fresh & Easy grocery store chain and a national trend toward larger supermarkets, small-format stores in low-income neighborhoods are increasing. As Hannah Burton Laurison and Christine Fry write in "Fresh & Easy’s Demise: What Does it Mean for Food Access in California?" small grocery stores offering fresh foods have an excellent chance at survival. Tailoring store offerings to the communities being served may be the best way to ensure success.