Why should San Francisco ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes? If individuals are free to make choices about consumption of certain products, why should public health departments regulate the sale of products such as sale of flavored tobacco products or impose higher taxes on sugary drinks? And why should health departments restrict the licenses issued to tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis dispensaries instead of allowing them to proliferate? What are the ways through which federal, state, and local health departments and regulatory agencies reconcile between the conflicting interest of diverse stakeholders such as industry, public health departments, scientific community, and advocacy groups in framing health regulations?
Since spatial, social, environmental, and commercial determinants shape health behavior and ultimately affect health outcomes, HSC 380 dives into several aspects of health regulation. The course focusses on the role of various regulatory agencies such as FDA, CDC, EPA, and state and local government agencies. The goal is to discuss the regulatory environment affecting different types of health organizations; clinical regulations like those involving accreditation and clinical practice; and regulations affecting populations, the environment and other consumer products.