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Heartland Tobacco War

Michael S. Givel and Andrew L. Spivak - Foreword by Stanton Glantz

Heartland Tobacco War chronicles the political and public relations battles between health advocates and forces supported by the tobacco industry in Oklahoma from the 1980s to the present. Michael S. Givel and Andrew L. Spivak draw on previously-suppressed tobacco insider documents and first-hand interviews with key players in the conflict. This story of pro- and anti-tobacco lobbying and legislation in the nation’s heartland especially highlights the unique role of Oklahoma’s “renegade” Department of Health Commissioner, Dr. Leslie Bietsch. After decades of political dominance by the tobacco industry, this single maverick bureaucrat in the early 2000s bypassed the usual insider politics of the legislature and employed aggressive public campaign strategies to bring about sweeping legal victories for clean indoor air and tobacco taxes in a very conservative state. The authors examine the Commissioner’s aggressive advocacy in the context of insider and outsider policy advocacy, public administration ethics, the politics of bureaucratic activism and administrative lawmaking, and direct democracy.

Heartland Tobacco War tells a story that will be of great relevance to public health practitioners, historians, health activists, health policy scholars, sociologists, public administration scholars, social movement and public interest group scholars, political scientists, public policy scholars, and anyone else interested in the politics of the tobacco industry.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 134Size: 0 3/4 x 0 3/4
978-0-7391-7692-4 • Hardback • August 2013 • $60.00 • (£39.95)
978-0-7391-7693-1 • eBook • August 2013 • $59.99 • (£39.95)
Michael S. Givel is professor of political science at The University of Oklahoma-Norman.

Andrew L. Spivak is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is author of Sexual Violence: Beyond the Feminist-Evolutionary Debate (2011).
List of Tables and Figures
Chapter 1: Introduction: A Tobacco War in America’s Heartland
Chapter 2: Historical Background of Tobacco Control in Oklahoma
Chapter 3: The Influence of the Tobacco Industry Lobby
Chapter 4: Leslie Beitch and the 2001-2003 Clean Indoor Air Campaign
Chapter 5: The 2004 Battle for Cigarette Taxes
Chapter 6: Aftermath: Clean Indoor Air Post-2003
Chapter 7: Lessons Learned: Public Ethics and the Public Good
In their new book, Heartland Tobacco War, Michael Givel, and Andrew Spivak describe how, before 2001, the efforts of the tobacco industry in Oklahoma, USA, were largely triumphant. Progress in tobacco control occurred at a 'glacial pace' between 1915 and the early 2000s. In their well researched book, the authors detail how—through retention of former state legislators with inside knowledge as lobbyists—the tobacco industry had 'complete hegemony' in tobacco-related legislation. . . . Givel and Spivak tell an interesting story that provides important lessons for the achievement of further progress in tobacco-control legislation in Oklahoma and other U.S. states despite the tactics and resources used by the tobacco industry.
The Lancet

Heartland Tobacco War is an exceptional contribution to the literature on the politics of tobacco regulation. Givel and Spivak draw upon valuable and unique ethnographic, media, government, and industry sources to tell an important story about Oklahoma's struggle for clean indoor air and other vital measures. Their narrative is captivating and adeptly illustrates complex intersections of bureaucracy, legislation, and public relations that will be of interest to policymakers, social science scholars, and anyone interested in how progress is made in public health policy

Shannon Monnat, Pennsylvania State University