The Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) is a legal research center focused on public health law. Its goal is to support and enhance a commitment to public health in individuals and institutes who shape public policy through law. We are committed to research in public health law, public health policy development; to legal technical assistance; and to collaborative work at the intersection of law and public health. Our current areas of work include tobacco control and childhood obesity. It was founded and is directed by Professor Richard Daynard, a leading international expert on tobacco control and the obesity epidemic.


The Law and Obesity Project explores the use of the law in slowing obesity and reversing the epidemic of obesity-related diseases. The project examines the use of litigation, legislation, regulation, and other legal tools in conjunction with public health practitioners and policymakers. PHAI publishes widely in the area, works with policymakers and advocates, and hosts the annual Legal Approaches to the Obesity Epidemic conference. The PHAI annual conference is recognized for bringing together the leading experts and advocates working in law and obesity and testing out cutting-edge strategic ideas.

The Tobacco Control Resource Center
continues its ongoing mission of working to improve the public's health by honing legal strategies to reduce tobacco use and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. Formed in 1979, TCRC has unusual depth and breadth of experience in tobacco control issues generally, as well as longstanding and specific expertise in the legal and policy issues relating to tobacco control. TCRC’s Tobacco Products Liability Project has held more than two dozen annual conferences where many of the strategies for holding the tobacco industry legally accountable were first devised. TCRC provides law and policy analysis and technical assistance to domestic and foreign governmental bodies, non-governmental organizations, attorneys involved in tobacco-related litigation and tobacco control advocates. TCRC also promotes public health oriented perspectives in the news media coverage of key law and policy developments affecting tobacco control.

PHAI works closely with the JD/MPH program to provide educational opportunities to students interested in public health and the law. Students may take advanced courses at the law school and participate in the Public Health Law Clinic working closely with PHAI. PHAI also offers independent study opportunities, co-ops and Tufts ALE placement. There are a myriad of opportunities for students to participate in the work of PHAI on current and exciting developments in public health and law.