Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

September 7, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The same day the Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB792 into law, a group of people with ties to the tobacco companies filed the paperwork to start collecting signatures to force a referendum on the law.  It is a forgone conclusion that they will get the signatures to qualify the referendum since they will spend whatever it takes to pay people to collect the signatures.

 

Once the signatures have been submitted, the law will be suspended until the next statewide election when the voters will decide whether or not it will take effect, which is likely November 2022.

 

Given that the health groups have soundly defeated two earlier San Francisco ballot measures, Reynolds’ referendum to overturn the flavor ban (Prop E in 2016, with 68% supporting the law) and Juul’s effort to rewrite all e-cig laws (Prop C in 2018, with 82% supporting current law), the industry has to know they will lose the election. 

 

This is especially true because the health groups know what campaign the industry will run and how to counter it.  (It will, of course, take a lot of money, unfortunately).

 

The tobacco companies are almost certainly running this referendum just to buy a couple more years to keep selling their flavored products in California.

 

September 3, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Two papers authored by large diverse groups (including several e-cigarette enthusiasts who have supported companies like Juul), just concluded that e-cigarettes don’t help people quit smoking.  Even more important, e-cigarettes have displaced FDA-approved therapies for smoking cessation and people who use e-cigarettes in quit attempts are more likely to still be using e-cigarettes later than people who use conventional therapies.

These are very important findings that should inform FDA assessment of whether allowing e-cigarettes to be sold as consumer products would be “appropriate for the protection of public health,” the standard in the law.

These results should be particularly sobering to Mitch Zeller, head of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, who was recently quoted (again) as saying that e-cigarettes might be beneficial for people who “switch completely.”  These studies show that “switching completely” is rare.

And, of course, there is also the huge problem of youth nicotine addiction initiation with e-cigs.

Here is the press release UCSF put out on the two studies, with a little editing from me to put it in the present tense:

 

August 31, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

On Friday, August 28, shortly after the Senate unanimously passed SB 793, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law in a Zoom meeting.  (He is second from the left in the bottom row.)   The think I like best about this screen shot is that it includes most (but not all) of the people who have worked so hard on SB 793 for the last two years.

There is no question that this is a huge loss for the big tobacco companies and their surrogates (led by Rev Al Sharpton, who should be protecting African Americans from predatory tobacco companies and their menthol cigarettes and little cigars, not working to protect tobacco profits).  It is also a huge loss for Adam Gray, chair of the Assembly Government Organizations Committee and Big Tobacco's best friend in the California legislature, who failed to stop SB 793 despite the huge campaign contributions the tobacco companies have invested in him in recent years.

This victory should also send a strong message to the FDA as thy start assessing whether e-cigarettes (and other new flavored tobacco products) are “appropriate for the protection of public health” as the law requires them to do.  The public does not want these products out there appealing to kids.  It is also time for FDA to deal with menthol.

August 27, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

In the last few days, news reports reveal that the FDA has accepted several premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for review, including for Juul and for one or more unspecified Vaporesso products, and others have been submitted, including for Reynolds’ Velo Dissolvable Nicotine Lozenges.

The Juul news report says that FDA accepted Juul’s application less than three weeks after it was submitted on July 30, and the Vaporesso’s website crows that its PMTA was accepted “only three days after submission.”  

August 24, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The Assembly just passed SB 793 50-0.  Now it goes back to the Senate to vote on the amendments introduced in the Assembly.

Well, at least the tobacco companies supported the California economy with their ad campaign against the bill.

UPDATE

After the vote closed, a few Assembly members changed thir votes.  The final vote was 56 yes, 1 no, 22 nt voting.

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