Established in the summer of 2001, the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy is dedicated to providing legal support to communities, community groups, employers, local governments, and State legislators and agencies interested in reducing the negative health consequences of tobacco use. The Center receives grant funds from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Health Promotion, Education and Tobacco Use Prevention, and works closely with the Office of the Attorney General of Maryland on various tobacco control initiatives.
Having completed a comprehensive needs assessment survey of all 24 local health departments in 2002, the Center is able to provide targeted legal resources that address issues common to many jurisdictions. The Center is also active in assisting members of the General Assembly who are desirous of drafting and gaining passage of tobacco control legislation. As a charter member of the National Tobacco Control Legal Consortium, the Center also keeps abreast of national trends and provides support to attorneys working in tobacco control in states that lack a resource center. Common Center projects include:
Students enrolled in the Tobacco and the Law Seminar/LTP and the Tobacco Control Clinic provide valuable assistance to the Center. In addition to these legal services, twice a year the Center publishes Tobacco Regulation Review, a widely distributed newsletter that summarizes local, state and national tobacco control legal issues. The Center also hosts an annual conference in the Spring for tobacco control attorneys and policy personnel from across the country; each year the Center chooses a current topic on which idea-sharing and coalition building is needed.