Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

June 29, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

FDA Disregarded its Own Scientists’ Recommendations and Independent Research Showing that IQOS Presents Carcinogenic, Genotoxic, Hepatotoxic, Cardiovascular, and Pulmonary Risks and Misapplied the Law

Lauren Lempert and I just published “Analysis of FDA’s IQOS marketing authorisation and its policy impacts” in Tobacco Control that raises serious questions about how FDA assesses whether new tobacco products are “appropriate for the protection of public health,” the standard in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that gave FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products.

IQOS is a “heated tobacco product” that generates a nicotine aerosol by heating a slick of tobacco rather than a liquid, which is how e-cigarettes work.  (IQOS can be thought of as a solid e-cigarette.)

June 19, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Lynn Silver, Amanda Naprawa, and Alisa Pardon just published “Assessment of Incorporation of Lessons From Tobacco Control in City and County Laws Regulating Legal Marijuana in California” in JAMA Open.  This paper comprehensively reviews all state and local laws on marijuana in California and finds that few are incorporating any best practices from tobacco control.  The State is clearly prioritizing increasing sales and even working to undermine the local control provisions in Proposition 64, the ballot initiative that legalized adult use sales.

Of the 539 local jurisdictions, only 8 have rules exceeding state regulations, 1 which prohibits sale of favored products, 3 prohibit marijuana-infused beverages, and 5 imposed some restrictions on edible products.  27 allow onsite consumption of marijuana, which exposes people to secondhand smoke, something the state ended for tobacco a quarter century ago.

June 17, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

I applaud the African American Tobacco Control Leadershp Council and Action on Smoking and Health for suing the FDA for its continued inaction on menthol.  The FDA's own analysis showed years ago that banning menthol would save lives.

My one quibble with the lawsuit is that they left out the important fact that when FDA issued its "deeming" rule for e-cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products, it tried to prohibit all flavors absent specific evidence that allowing a specific flavor would be "appropriate for the protection of public health," the standard in the law, but the Obama White House dropped 17 pages from the rule.  The rule, as submitted to the White House, would have resulted in all newly deemed menthol products to have been ordered off of the market by November 6, 2016, and would remain off the market unless the manufacturers could demonstrate these products protect public health.  This action is detailed in our June 2016 blog post, "The White House told FDA that black lives don't matter."

June 4, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The ability of arteries to get bigger (dilate) in response to increased demand for blood flow is an important part of how the cardiovascular system regulates itself on a second-to-second basis.  This process is mediated by the ability of the lining of arteries, known as the vascular endothelium, to produce nitric oxide (NO), which diffuses into the muscle and relaxes or stiffens it as needed to keep everything in balance. 

In addition to this rapid regulatory function, disturbances in endothelial function predicts the long-term development of heart disease.

Jessica Fetterman and her colleagues have published “Alterations in Vascular Function Associated With the Use of Combustible and Electronic Cigarettes” in the Journal of the American Heart Association in which they measured arterial stiffness in cigarette smokers, e-cigarette only users, and dual users.  They also measured production of nitric oxide by their vascular endothelium directly by collecting some endothelial cells from the people in their study.

May 27, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Streaming technologies have exploded Hollywood's old business models. The COVID-19 pandemic, as of spring 2020, has halted studio production and distribution in the US and Europe.

Many ask if the movie industry will ever be the same again.

But a new report from UCSF's Smokefree Movies project and Breathe California Sacramento Region may leave you asking if Hollywood has fundamentally changed at all.

Nearly a century after Big Tobacco started exploiting movies to sell its addictive product, and fully half a century since America banned tobacco commercials from TV and radio, smoking is on the rise on more screens than ever. Yet film and TV ratings still don't take tobacco into account.

Some of the new report's major findings:

• The amount of smoking in top-grossing movies rose to 3,618 incidents in 2019, the most in more than a decade.

• In-theater tobacco impressions more than doubled over the past five years, from 9.3 billion in 2015 to 23.7 billion in 2019.

• For the first year since this survey began, in 2019 independent movie companies accounted for more than half of youth-rated movies with smoking, youth-rated tobacco incidents, and youth-rated tobacco impressions. Independents also released a historically high number of R-rated movies with smoking.