Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

November 5, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

In response to exploding youth use of e-cigarettes, led by Juul, the FDA has been talking tough but doing little.  The statement issued on October 31, 2018, by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on his meetings with industry suggests that he is falling into their old “youth smoking prevention” trap, by “welcoming voluntary steps by companies” and viewing their proposals to address youth e-cigarette use as “thoughtful.”  The path he is following promises to make FDA complicit in promoting the e-cigarette epidemic.

Before he and the FDA proceed down this path, they should carefully read what the 2012 Surgeon General Report Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults has to say about what the industry is really up to.

 He and the FDA should start with this overall conclusion from Chapter 5:  “The tobacco companies’ activities and programs for the prevention of youth smoking have not demonstrated an impact on the initiation or prevalence of smoking among young people.”

November 5, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Alameda, CA is considering an ordinance to license tobacco retailers and prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products.  Retailers are arguing that chewing tobacco should be exempted becuase theh claim the average age of those that chew is 40.   I asked my colleague Ben Chaffee about this and here is what he had to say:

While smokeless (dip and chew) has been traditionally been a product for older adults, the last several decades have seen a major shift toward use by younger consumers (and marketing to them).

Smokeless tobacco consumption in the United States overall has been on the rise. {Bhattacharyya N. Trends in the use of smokeless tobacco in United States, 2000-2010. Laryngoscope 2012;122(10):2175-8; Chang JT, Levy DT, Meza R. Trends and Factors Related to Smokeless Tobacco Use in the United States. Nicotine Tob Res 2016;18(8):1740-8; Lipari RN. Trends in Smokeless Tobacco Use and Initiation: 2002 to 2012.  The CBHSQ Report. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 2013.}

October 30, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

As more states legalize cannabis, specialty publications have been appearing that are designed to appeal to cannabis users.  Ryan Halvorson, Christopher Stewart, and Aishwarya Thakur and I assessed the accuracy of reporting on health effects of cannabis in one such publication, Green State, which is published by the San Francisco Chronicle.  We found that Green State was reasonably accurate in reporting on positive news but downplayed negative health effects.  In contrast, reporting on the same issues in the main San Francisco Chronicle much more accurately reflected the state of scientific knowledge.

This analysis, including a detailed assessment of the individual news stories in both publications, appears in our paper “Scientific Quality of Health-Related Articles in Specialty Cannabis and General Newspapers in San Francisco” that was recently published in Journal of Health Communications.

Here is the abstract:

October 27, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The recent memo leaked from the White House represents an unconscionable and insidious effort to legally erase trans people and trans identities. This plan seeks to discriminate against individuals by using “biological sex” as a strict definer of gender identity – a link that is scientifically unfounded.

We reject this anti-trans rhetoric and we stand in solidarity with our trans colleagues at UCSF and around the world. Anti-trans legislation and any related discriminatory policies run counter to UCSF’s core mission as an institute rooted in PRIDE values (professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, excellence). We pledge to continue to use our resources and collective voice to take a strong stand against this effort to erase trans identities.

We have a long history of working with LGBT colleagues, be they faculty, students, fellows, staff or beyond UCSF.  UCSF researchers also have conducted important research on how the tobacco companies target LGBT people, which helps explain their high smoking rates.

We are committed to working together with UCSF to provide full and public support for trans people and trans identities.

October 22, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Tobacco Control just published a special supplement on heated tobacco products, in particular PMI’s IQOS.  These papers use PMI’s own data as well as independent data to show that they are not as safe as PMI (and the other companies) claim.  You can download the whole issue here; a table of contents and links to each of the individual papers is at the bottom of this blog post.

Here is the UCSF press release on the issue, with emphasis on the UCSF authors:

Heated Tobacco Product Claims by Tobacco Industry Scrutinized by UC San Francisco Researchers and Others in Independent Data Review
Fourteen of 22 Papers Published in a Special Issue of Tobacco Control on Health, Marketing and Regulatory Aspects of New Tobacco Product Feature UCSF Authors

Claims by the tobacco industry that heated tobacco products (HTPs) are safer than conventional cigarettes are not supported by the industry’s own data and are likely to be misunderstood by consumers, according to research published in a special issue of Tobacco Control.