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Section 4. Supporting Local Ordinances to Modify Access to Unhealthy Products and Practices

What do we mean by unhealthy products and practices?

___Unhealthy products and practices are products and practices that can be harmful, in either the long term or the short term, to those who use or engage in them, and/or to others as well.

___Unhealthy products are often unhealthy only when they’re used to excess or inappropriately.

___Some unhealthy practices are linked to products, others are not.

___Unhealthy products and practices are not always directly related to physical health, but may also be related to the social, psychological, economic, and/or political health of individuals and the community.

Why modify access to unhealthy products and practices?

___To encourage healthy lifestyles and improve health and life expectancy for individuals.

___To prevent or alleviate social expense.

___To improve the quality of life for everyone in the community.

___To improve the chances of healthy child development. 

___To send the right messages to youth.

___To create and sustain a healthy community.

When should you support efforts to modify access to unhealthy products and practices?

___When new facilities are opening.

___When there’s a change in local administration.

___When a community health problem that can be prevented or reduced by modifying access – obesity, smoking, substance use, etc. – is in the news. 

___When a particular community health issue reaches a critical level.

___When there’s a community health-related campaign already under way.

___Before something becomes a problem.

Who should support efforts to modify access to unhealthy products and practices?

___Policy makers in both public and private sectors.

___Health and other professionals.

___People affected by the product or practice, or who will be affected by a change in access.

___Any other interested stakeholders or groups.

How do you support efforts to modify access to unhealthy products and practices?

Modify access to unhealthy products and practices through:

___Laws and ordinances.                                             

___Regulations established by government agencies or business and industry.

___Taxes or other economic measures.

___Voluntary actions taken by retailers or other businesses and industries because of community pressure or because of corporate civic responsibility. 

___Physical barriers. 

___Enforcement of existing laws and regulations.

___Public education. 

Support existing efforts to modify access through:



___Support and logistics.

Mount your own initiative:

___Assemble a diverse group, with representatives of all concerned stakeholders, to plan and spearhead the effort.

___Determine the readiness of the population and community to change behavior. 

___Decide what kind of modification you’re going to work for.

___Advocate, Advocate, Advocate!

___Target local lawmakers to pass laws and ordinances. 

___Approach agencies to institute or change policies or regulations.                               

___Negotiate with business or industry for changes in their internal or external policies or practices.

___Conduct a public education campaign.

___Conduct a social action campaign. 

___Keep at it.