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Center for Law and the Public’s Health

Selected Publications

Emergency Preparedness

  • Rutkow L, Paul A, Taylor HA, Barnett DJ. Perceived facilitators and barriers to local health department workers’ participation in infectious disease emergency responses. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2017;23(6):644-650.
  • Rutkow L. An analysis of state public health emergency declarations. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(9):1601-1605.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Gakh M, Siegel J, Thompson CB, Barnett DJ. The public health workforce and willingness to respond to emergencies: a 50-state analysis of potentially influential laws. J Law Med Ethics. 2014;42(1):64-71.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Semon NL, Flowers A, Errett NA, Links JM. Translating legal research on mental and behavioral health during emergencies for the public health workforce. Public Health Rep. 2014;129(Suppl 4):123-128.
  • Vernick JS, Gakh M, Rutkow L. Emergency detention of persons with certain mental disorders during public health disasters: legal and policy issues. Am J Disaster Med. 2012;7(4):295-302.


  • Vernick JS, Rutkow L, Webster DW, Teret SP. Changing the constitutional landscape for firearms: the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Second Amendment decisions. Am J Public Health. 2011;101(11):2021-2026.
  • Vernick JS, Alcorn T, Horwitz J. Background checks for all gun buyers and gun violence restraining orders: state efforts to keep guns from high-risk persons. J Law Med Ethics. 2017;45(1 Suppl):98-102.
  • McCourt AD, Vernick JS, Betz ME, Brandspigel S, Runyan CW. Temporary transfer of firearms from the home to prevent suicide: legal obstacles and recommendations. JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(1):96-101.
  • Crifasi CK, Meyers JS, Vernick JS, Webster DW. Effects of changes in permit-to-purchase handgun laws in Connecticut and Missouri on suicide rates. Prev Med. 2015;79:43-49.
  • Vernick JS. Carrying guns in public: legal and public health implications. J Law Med Ethics. 2013;41(Suppl 1): 84-87.

Food Policy and Obesity Prevention

  • Rutkow L, Jones-Smith J, Walters HJ, O’Hara M, Bleich SN. Factors that encourage and discourage policy-making to prevent childhood obesity: experience in the United States. J Public Health Policy. 2016;37(4):514-527.
  • Bleich SN, Jones-Smith J, Jones H, O’Hara M, Rutkow L. The Voices for Healthy Kids Campaign and U.S. state legislation to prevent childhood obesity. Am J Public Health. 2016;106(3):436-439.
  • Donaldson EA, Cohen JE, Villanti AC, Kanarek NF, Barry CL, Rutkow L. Patterns of predictors of state adult obesity prevention legislation enactment in U.S. states: 2010-2013. Prev Med. 2015;74:117-122.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Edwards DM, Rodman SO, Barry CL. Legal action against health claims on foods and beverages marketed to youth. Am J Public Health. 2015;105(3):450-456.
  • Bleich SN, Rutkow L. Improving obesity prevention at the local level – emerging opportunities. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(19):1761-1763.

Motor Vehicles

  • McGinty EE, Tung G, Shulman-Laniel J, Hardy R, Rutkow L, Frattaroli S, Vernick JS. Ignition interlock laws: effects on fatal motor vehicle crashes, 1982-2013. Am J Prev Med. 2017;52(4):417-423.
  • Tung GJ, Vernick JS, Stuart EA, Webster DW, Gielen AC. Federal actions to incentivize state adoption of 0.08 g/dL blood alcohol concentration laws. Inj Prev. 2017;23(5):309-313.
  • Vernick JS, Tung GJ, Kromm JN. Interventions to reduce risks associated with vehicle incompatibility. Epidemiol Rev. 2012;34:57-64.
  • Vernick JS, Li G, Ogaitis S, MacKenzie EJ, Baker SP, Gielen AC. Effects of high school driver education on motor vehicle crashes, violations, and licensure. Am J Prev Med. 1999;16(1 Suppl):40-46.
  • Levy DT, Vernick JS, Howard KA. Relationship between driver’s license renewal policies and fatal crashes involving drivers 70 years or older. JAMA. 1995;274(13):1026-1030.

Opioid Use Disorders

  • Rutkow L, Smith KC, Lai AY, Vernick JS, Davis CS, Alexander GC. Prescription drug monitoring program design and function: a qualitative analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2017;180:395-400.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Alexander GC. More states should regulate pain management clinics to promote public health. Am J Public Health. 2017;107(2):240-243.
  • Chang HY, Lyapustina T, Rutkow L, Daubresse M, Richey M, Faul M, Stuart EA, Alexander GC. Impact of prescription drug monitoring programs and pill mill laws on high-risk opioid prescribers: a comparative interrupted time series analysis. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;165:1-8.
  • Lyapustina T, Rutkow L, Chang HY, Daubresse M, Ramji AF, Faul M, Stuart EA, Alexander GC. Effect of “pill mill” law on opioid prescribing and utilization: the case of Texas. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016;159:190-197.
  • Rutkow L, Chang HY, Daubresse M, Webster DW, Stuart EA, Alexander GC. Effect of Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program and pill mill laws on opioid prescribing and use. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(10):1642-1649.


  • Tung GJ, Vernick JS, Stuart EA, Webster DW. Political factors affecting the enactment of state-level clean indoor air laws. Am J Public Health. 2014;104(6):e92-e97.
  • Rutkow L, Pomeranz JL, Rodman SO. Local governments and the food system: innovative approaches to public health law and policy. Annals Health Law. 2013;22(2):355-372.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Hodge JG Jr, Teret SP. Preemption and the obesity epidemic: state and local menu labeling laws and the nutrition labeling and education act. J Law Med Ethics. 2008;36(4):772-789.
  • Pomeranz JL, Teret SP, Sugarman SD, Rutkow L, Brownell KD. Innovative legal approaches to address obesity. Milbank Q. 2009;87(1):185-213.

Public Health Litigation

  • Rutkow L, Teret SP. Role of state attorneys general in health policy. JAMA. 2010;304(12):1377-1378.
  • Vernick JS, Rutkow L, Salmon DA. Availability of litigation as a public health tool for firearm injury prevention: comparison of guns, vaccines, and motor vehicles. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(11):1991-1997.
  • Vernick JS, Sapsin JW, Teret SP, Mair JS. How litigation can promote product safety. J Law Med Ethics. 2004;32(4):551-555.
  • Vernick JS, Mair JS, Teret SP, Sapsin JW. Role of litigation in preventing product-related injuries. Epidemiol Rev. 2003;25:90-98.
  • Teret SP. Litigating for the public’s health. Am J Public Health. 1986;76(8):1027-1029.


  • Spires M, Rutkow L, Feldhaus I, Cohen JE. The World Health Organization’s MPOWER framework and international human rights treaties: an opportunity to promote global tobacco control. Public Health. 2014;128(7):665-667.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Tung GJ, Cohen JE. Creating smoke-free places through the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Am J Public Health. 2013;103(10):1748-1753.
  • Rutkow L, Teret SP. The potential for state Attorneys General to promote the public’s health: theory, evidence, and practice. St. Louis Univ Public Law Rev. 2011;30:267-300.
  • Vernick JS, Rutkow L, Teret SP. Public health benefits of recent litigation against the tobacco industry. JAMA. 2007;298(1):86-89.
  • Rutkow L, Vernick JS, Teret SP. Banning second-hand smoke in indoor public places under the Americans with Disabilities Act: a legal and public health imperative. Connecticut Law Rev. 2007;40:409-458.
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