Public Health Center

BYU Health Law Association hosted a “Down with Tobacco” event featuring guest speaker Desmond Jenson on September 22, 2016. Jenson spoke with students via Skype from the Public Health Law Center in St. Paul, Minnesota to discuss his work affecting tobacco control policy. 

"Our country is founded upon the principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” he said. “None of those things are possible if people aren’t healthy. So, as an organization, we get to give people the tools to live healthy lives.”

Jenson’s work at the Public Health Center includes establishing policies that prevent tobacco use and deaths associated with tobacco use. Jenson shared statistics to show how alarmingly widespread tobacco use is. “There are 40 million adults who currently smoke, and more than 16 million people who live with a smoking related disease,” he said. “One in five deaths in our country is caused by smoking.”

Jenson explained that not only has he had the opportunity to follow his intellectual passions, but he is also able to make a difference in the lives of others by working in health law. "I get to satisfy that intellectual curiosity, but then I also get to be involved in the decisions that are made that might prevent kids from starting to smoke, and I like that,” he said.