Failure to Change through Multiple Policy Instruments and Venues the Tobacco Industry Policy Subsystem in the States from 1990 to 2003
Givel, Michael, Policy Studies Journal
My article in this issue of Policy Studies Journal provides a historical overview from 1990 to 2003 of state tobacco control policy outputs and outcomes that occurred in tandem with a vigorous challenge in this same period by health advocates to the state tobacco industry subsystem. The results of my article show that the equilibrium of the tobacco industry subsystem, so far, was not punctuated in a significant manner due to the lack of enactment of comprehensive and effective state tobacco control regulatory and tobacco tax policies. Complementing my evaluation in this volume is an article by Professor Jeff Worsham that concludes that from 1945 to 2004, the federal tobacco industry subsystem has also resisted, so far and very well, an attempt to significantly punctuate the equilibrium of that subsystem with a significant increase in effective federal tobacco control policies. In both cases, this did not mean that some tobacco policies were not changed to curtail tobacco use. But it does mean that the desired policy outcomes to significantly curtail tobacco use through comprehensive and stringent regulations and higher tobacco taxes was not achieved resulting in a lack of punctuation of the equilibrium of the dominant tobacco industry subsystem.
As noted in my article, health advocates, sympathetic politicians, government agencies, and litigators at the state level all played important roles from 1990 to 2003 in attempting, with little success, to alter the state policy subsystem dominated by the tobacco industry (Austin-Lane, Girasek, & Barbour, 2004; Derthick, 2005; Givel & Glantz, 2001; Morley, Cummings, Giovino, & Horan, 2002; Studlar, 2002). These actions by health advocates in the states included ongoing efforts to enact policy instruments to regulate clean indoor air and tobacco sales to minors including repealing local preemption, establish tobacco cessation and antitobacco education programs, enact tobacco tax increases, and initiate legal approaches to increase sanctions and injunctive relief on the tobacco industry (Derthick, 2005; Givel & Glantz, 2001; Studlar, 2002).
The Master Settlement Agreement in 1998 was one important event in this ongoing effort to change the pro tobacco policy subsystem, but was not the only important event. My article indicates that there was no actual tipping event that dramatically punctuated equilibrium and changed state tobacco policy. Instead there was continual focusing utilizing a wide variety of regulatory, tax, and litigation policy instrument strategies for 13 years by health advocates and government officials with a relatively few significant policy successes to vigorously strengthen state tobacco control.
Professor Wood noted that the Master Settlement Agreement was the important tipping event of this period in the mobilization in the states against tobacco use. While the Master Settlement Agreement had the appearance of a tipping event, in reality, from the point of view of being a rigorous policy instrument to regulate tobacco use, it was relatively weak (Fox, Lightwood, & Glantz, 1998; Givel & Glantz, 2004). The specific remedies, contained primarily in Sections III to VI and IX of the Master Settlement Agreement, included: Permanent Relief, Public Access to Documents, Tobacco Control and Underage Use Laws, Establishment of a National Foundation, and Payments (Fox et al., 1998; Givel & Glantz, 2004). More specifically the Master Settlement Agreement awarded $206 billion over 25 years to the states, adjusted for inflation, with no requirements on how the states should spend their money including for state tobacco control programs (Fox et al., 1998; Givel & Glantz, 2004). In addition, the Master Settlement Agreement primarily focused on curbing youth and not adult tobacco use by banning: tobacco sponsorship of tobacco products in some youth-oriented events including athletics and concerts, third-party …
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Publication information: Article title: Failure to Change through Multiple Policy Instruments and Venues the Tobacco Industry Policy Subsystem in the States from 1990 to 2003. Contributors: Givel, Michael - Author. Journal title: Policy Studies Journal. Volume: 34. Issue: 3 Publication date: August 2006. Page number: 453+. © 1999 Policy Studies Organization. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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