Critical opportunities for public health law: A call for action

Michelle M. Mello, Jennifer Wood, Scott Burris, Alexander C. Wagenaar, Jennifer K. Ibrahim, Jeffrey W. Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Although legal interventions are responsible for many sentinel public health achievements, law is underutilized as a tool for advancing population health. Our purpose was to identify critical opportunities for public health lawmaking. We articulated key criteria and illustrated their use with 5 examples. These opportunities involve significant health problems that are potentially amenable to change through law and for which an effective legal intervention is available: optimizing graduated driver licensing laws, increasing tax rates on alcoholic beverages, regulating sodium in foods, enacting laws to facilitate reversal of opioid overdoses, and improving mental health interventions in the college setting. We call for a national conversation about critical opportunities for public health law to advance evidence-based policymaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1979-1988
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Critical opportunities for public health law: A call for action'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this