Original ArticleLegal Options for Achieving Public Health OutcomesLazzarini, Zita JD, MPH; Elman, Deborah JD, MPHAuthor Information Director, Program in Medical Humanities, Health Law, and Ethics, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut. (Lazzarini) Attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Elman) Address correspondence to Zita Lazzarini, JD, MPH, Director, Program in Medical Humanities, Health Law, and Ethics, University of Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, MC-6325, Farmington, CT 06030-6325; Telephone: 860-679-5494; Fax: 860-679-5464; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The authors thank Kathryn Rauch, BA, for her support and editorial suggestions on the manuscript, Lorilyn Rosales, JD (candidate), for her research assistance, and Lynne Stockton, VMD, MS, for editorial assistance. CDC Purchase Order number 63585 supported work on this article. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: September 2002 - Volume 8 - Issue 5 - p 65-75 Buy Abstract To achieve desired public health outcomes, state agencies can choose among several legal mechanisms; however, no “best practice” guidelines are available to help them choose the most effective mechanism for a given situation. This article offers such guidance by comparing the relative advantages and disadvantages of laws, regulations, policies, and contracts. Factors compared include flexibility, the need for legislative involvement, the nature of the rulemaking process, enforceability, ability to reach target populations, and generalizability. Contracts, in particular, are described as an effective but underutilized mechanism for achieving successful public health outcomes. © Aspen Publishers, Inc.