Staff Spotlight: Attorney Ray Leung

Staff Spotlight: Attorney Ray Leung

April 24, 2017

Ray Leung is a senior staff attorney at ChangeLab Solutions, where he directs our tobacco control work. In his 3 years at the organization, his work has focused on the evolution of both the tobacco industry and the tobacco control field.

“I think strategically about how our tobacco control work should be changing. There’s a constant dance between the industry and the field, and the field must figure out how to respond to what the industry’s doing,” said Leung. “So my job is to consider what our work at Changelab Solutions should look like to meet the needs of the field and address what’s happening in the market.”

Leung works with communities nationwide to develop innovative tobacco control policies. Last year, he helped Ann Arbor, Michigan, create a law that raised the minimum age for the sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21.

“It was a challenging project because it required a lot of research and diving into issues I hadn’t looked at before. But it was one of the more meaningful projects I’ve worked on because it’s a great example of how ChangeLab Solutions got its start,” said Leung. “We’ve seen how successful tobacco control policies can be at the local level in California, so this project was a reminder of how we’re applying what works to new topics and contexts across the nation.”

Going forward, Leung is interested in how the tobacco control field—and the public health field in general—will keep pace with the ever-changing tobacco industry.

“There are always emerging issues, like e-cigarettes or cannabis, and there are always new tobacco industry marketing tactics and sales practices,” said Leung. “But there are also always new opportunities and novel ways to tackle chronic disease. And at this organization, we’re thinking about more than persistent public health problems. We’re thinking about health equity. And that’s important as the public health field continues to evolve.”

Listen to Leung make the case for tobacco taxes, and visit our staff page to learn more about all our experts! And learn how you can support our work with cities nationwide.