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date: 19 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that law and policy interventions can and should be used to prevent noncommunicable diseases, but some of the most effective strategies are impeded by political, cultural, and legal barriers. It reviews law and policy interventions—including mandated information disclosures and restrictions on marketing; taxation and pricing strategies; product and retailer regulation; licensing and zoning strategies; spending and procurement strategies; and indirect regulation through tort liability—that have potential to change behavior and protect health on a much broader scale than health education campaigns alone. Following the social-ecological model, this chapter addresses strategies for altering the information environment, the built environment, the marketplace, and the social norms that shape health behaviors, with particular reference to tobacco control efforts and initiatives that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

Keywords: public health law, noncommunicable diseases, United States, commercial speech, disclosures, advertising, marketplace, zoning, social norms, health behaviors

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