While the shared interests that unions and public health have in worker health has led to cooperation on many health issues, it has often not led to such cooperation on tobacco control. While some unions have been supportive of tobacco control efforts, many have not, and a number have adopted pro-tobacco industry positions, e.g., protesting tax increases, helping to pass laws preventing discrimination against smokers in employment, and assisting in the defeat of clean indoor air legislation. We will study why labor unions and public health have had a problematic relationship around tobacco issues, in contrast to other health issues, and to explore how that relationship might be improved. A collaborative relationship has the potential to improve the health status of blue collar and service sector workers. Our overall research goal then is to build a sophisticated and nuanced understanding of the relationships between the tobacco industry and organized labor. To achieve this goal, we plan to document the nature and extent of the tobacco industry's political relationship with organized labor at the federal, state, and local level through pursuit of two specific research aims: (1) Conduct a comprehensive search of the tobacco industry document databases for materials related to the political alliances between organized labor and the tobacco industry at the federal, state, and local levels on issues related to tobacco policy. And, (2) develop nine case studies based on research conducted under Specific Aim #1, using additional information found through the labor press, local newspapers, and other written sources, and through interviews with key labor leaders and public health activists. Case studies will focus on clean indoor air, tobacco tax increases, and employment discrimination at the federal, state, and local level.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRRB-Y (J1))
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Bloch, Michele H
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Tufts University
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Campbell, Richard B; Balbach, Edith D (2015) Cigarette Excise Taxes in Context: Cautionary Lessons from the U.S. Experience. Int J Health Serv 45:564-77
Campbell, Richard; Balbach, Edith (2013) Editorial input for the right price: tobacco industry support for a sheet metal indoor air quality manual. New Solut 23:467-83
Campbell, Richard B; Balbach, Edith D (2011) Manufacturing credibility: the National Energy Management Institute and the Tobacco Institute's strategy for indoor air quality. Am J Public Health 101:497-503
Raebeck, Annaebel; Campbell, Richard; Balbach, Edith (2010) Unhealthy partnerships: the tobacco industry and African American and Latino labor organizations. J Immigr Minor Health 12:228-33
Balbach, Edith D; Campbell, Richard B (2009) Union women, the tobacco industry, and excise taxes: a lesson in unintended consequences. Am J Prev Med 37:S121-5
Campbell, Richard B; Balbach, Edith D (2009) Building alliances in unlikely places: progressive allies and the Tobacco Institute's coalition strategy on cigarette excise taxes. Am J Public Health 99:1188-96
Zelnick, Jennifer; Campbell, Richard; Levenstein, Charles et al. (2008) Clearing the air: the evolution of organized labor's role in tobacco control in the United States. Int J Health Serv 38:313-31
Campbell, R; Balbach, E D (2008) Mobilising public opinion for the tobacco industry: the Consumer Tax Alliance and excise taxes. Tob Control 17:351-6
Balbach, Edith D; Herzberg, Abby; Barbeau, Elizabeth M (2006) Political coalitions and working women: how the tobacco industry built a relationship with the Coalition of Labor Union Women. J Epidemiol Community Health 60 Suppl 2:27-32
Barbeau, E M; Kelder, G; Ahmed, S et al. (2005) From strange bedfellows to natural allies: the shifting allegiance of fire service organisations in the push for federal fire-safe cigarette legislation. Tob Control 14:338-45

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