February 13, 2017

Leon Andrews is the director of the Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL) initiative at the National League of Cities. He joined our Board of Directors in 2010 and became the Chair of the Board of Directors in 2015.
“I joined the ChangeLab Solutions Board because the work the organization does aligns with my work at the National League of Cities. ChangeLab Solutions offers an incredible array of tools, resources, and other assets to our elected officials, and I see that in real time,” said Andrews. “I was very excited about the opportunity to be part of an organization that is doing this work—translating law and policy into meaningful local change.”
Since joining our Board, Andrews has been inspired by the organization’s commitment to improving health and equity. “As an organization, we’re being intentional about racial equity at all levels and explicit about the important role it plays in all issues related to health,” said Andrews. “And during this time, I’m excited that we are working to define the field, not just waiting to see where it goes. We’re pushing others to recognize that health is not just about childhood obesity or tobacco use. It requires us to look at environmental factors and the social determinants of health, and work intentionally and comprehensively toward our goals.”
Andrews explained that one of ChangeLab Solutions’ strengths is putting practical resources into the hands of people on the ground. “ChangeLab Solutions makes life easier for cities that don’t have a full research department, policy branch, or team of lawyers that can really pull together what is needed to implement good policy,” said Andrews. “Our staff design real tools that not only work for a Los Angeles, a New York, or a Chicago, but also work in a Caldwell, Idaho, or a Tualatin, Oregon, or an Itta Bena, Mississippi.”
“During his tenure, Leon Andrews has brought a wealth of knowledge and bold thinking to our organization’s leadership,” said Marice Ashe, founder and CEO of ChangeLab Solutions. “He has helped us identify where we need to go and how we can get there. His support and guidance have been invaluable, and we’re proud to have him in our corner.”
Visit our Board of Directors page to learn more about Andrews and our other leaders! And find out how you can support our work with cities nationwide.

November 17, 2016

We’ve updated and released the Tobacco Laws Affecting California, our 2016 guide to tobacco regulation in the state. This booklet is a user-friendly guide to laws regulating exposure to secondhand smoke and the sale and marketing of tobacco products. The 2016 update is comprehensive: It discusses new state laws that regulate e-cigarette sales and prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere the state prohibits smoking. It also discusses changes to state laws that raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco from 18 to 21 (except for active military personnel), further restrict tobacco use in workplaces, and require all schools to be smokefree.

In addition to these new and modified state regulations, the guide includes information on existing California laws related to tobacco use, sales, and marketing. It also highlights new and existing federal laws that apply within California, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deeming rule and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

This popular booklet is a resource for tobacco control advocates, government attorneys, local law enforcement agencies, and anyone working on tobacco control issues. For people working outside California – our tobacco control team can help you move your policy goals forward! Contact us to learn more about regulating the sale and marketing of tobacco products in your community.

August 29, 2016

Does your neighborhood have safe sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes? Ever wonder how street design can improve health? Curious how transportation systems can make places not only more connected, but also more equitable?

Street design can, and should, make it safer and easier for people in every neighborhood to get around, whether they’re biking, walking, taking transit, or driving. Use these new resources to learn about designing and building healthy streets!

  • Road Signs Pedcast: Listen to our walking podcast, or pedcast, to hear from people on the ground who are building safe and active streets. Each episode discusses one transportation tool that promotes community health. In this first episode, learn about an approach to making existing streets safer—a “road diet”—with a story from Oakland, California. Plug in your headphones, look both ways, and get moving!
  • A Guide to Building Healthy Streets: Use this guide to turn a Complete Streets policy into action! This resource discusses five key steps for effective Complete Streets implementation, highlighting the unique role public health staff can play during each step. Start collaborating to achieve your community’s policy goals and create healthier streets.

Want to learn more? Contact us to find out how you can start building streets to meet the needs of your community.

June 28, 2016

The retail environment affects community health. In many places, people lack access to fruits and vegetables, but can find tobacco, non-nutritious foods and beverages, and alcohol all too easily. Perhaps not surprisingly, tobacco use, poor nutrition, and excessive alcohol use are among the leading causes of chronic and deadly disease.

Changing the retail environment can change health outcomes. Stores that make the healthy choice the easy choice—by reducing tobacco marketing, stocking nutritious items, and not selling alcohol near schools, for instance—can actually improve health.

Government agencies already work with stores to make these healthy changes, but they often don’t work together. They can use our new resources and library to collaborate and create a healthy retail environment.

  • Healthy Retail: A Set of Tools for Policy and Partnership: Our conversation starters, playbook, and collaboration workbook can help communities develop a comprehensive approach to improving the retail environment. With these resources, partners in tobacco control, nutrition, and excessive alcohol use prevention can work together to make stores healthier places to shop.
  • Library of Healthy Retail ResourcesOur new online library brings together all our healthy retail resources, including tools for regulating tobacco, providing produce, and addressing alcohol. In one location, public health practitioners can learn why healthy stores are important and find strategies and policies for reaching a variety of healthy retail goals.

We can help you create a healthy retail environment. Contact us to get started! 

June 23, 2016

Last month, California took major steps to strengthen tobacco control policy and improve public health. 

California Governor Jerry Brown signed some of the most important tobacco control bills the state has considered in years. The new laws have raised the minimum legal age for tobacco sales from 18 to 21. They also further restrict tobacco use in workplaces, require all schools to be smokefree (including the use of e-cigarettes), and prohibit the use of e-cigarettes anywhere the state prohibits smoking.

ChangeLab Solutions partnered with the California Tobacco Control Program to develop two fact sheets to help California businesses comply with the new regulations.

  • The Summary for Employers and Owner-Operated Businesses outlines changes to smokefree protections in the workplace. It identifies the areas and worksites now required to be smokefree—such as small businesses, warehouses, and certain areas of hotels and motels—and explains that the use of e-cigarettes is now prohibited in all places cigarette smoking is prohibited under state law.
  • The Summary for Retailers describes how tobacco retailers must comply with the new minimum sale age of 21, and explains that e-cigarettes are considered tobacco products under state law. In addition, it notes that by January 1, 2017, any retailer that sells e-cigarettes must apply for a state license to sell those products.

To learn more about the new laws, see other related resources. And if you have specific questions, submit them to our tobacco control team.