Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

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.

May 26, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Tanner Wakefield and I just released our long-awaited “state report” on tobacco policymaking in Louisiana, Blowing Smoke Out of the Bayou:  The Battle for Tobacco Control in Louisiana.   This report covers Louisiana’s rich history of battling the tobacco industry in the half-century since the 1970s.

 

This is, by far, the longest state report we have ever published, which reflects the fact that every possible tobacco control policy has been the subject of vigorous debate – and progress – in Louisiana.  In most states, a few issues – smokefree laws, taxes, tort reform, and others – are the central focus.  Louisiana had them all.  This research also benefitted from many internal tobacco industry documents that allowed us to dig into the behind-the-scenes activities of the industry and its allies.

 

Here is the Executive Summary:

 

•     Louisiana consistently ranks nearly last for health and smoking in the United States.

•     As of 2018, Louisiana had above average smoking prevalence for adults (20.5%) and youth (13.5% of high school and 3.8% for middle school students) in the United States (44th for adults).

•     The tobacco industry dominated Louisiana tobacco control policymaking during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

May 25, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Last March Jasmine Khouja and colleagues published “Is e-cigarette use in non-smoking young adults associated with later smoking? A systematic review and meta-analysis” in Tobacco Control.  This is the most comprehensive meta-analysis to data and convincingly shows that youth and young adults (up to age 30) who initiate nicotine use with e-cigarettes are, much more likely to be smoking cigarettes later.

The paper includes 17 studies from the US, UK, Mexico, Germany, and the Netherlands. Every single one of these studies showed that e-cigarette use was associated with significantly increased odds of subsequent cigarette smoking initiation.

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