Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

March 11, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Today (March 11, 2019) FDA Commissioner Gottlieb released a statement on the FDA’s new budget request.  He continues to express enthusiasm for e-cigs as an alternative to combusted cigarettes, but there are finally some notes of caution appearing in his assessment of their health effects for adults.

Here is the relevant part of the statement (my emphasis):

“The FDA is fully committed to a pathway for the efficient and effective regulation of ENDS products. These products have the potential to offer currently addicted adult smokers a way to fully transition off cigarettes, but still enable them to get access to satisfying levels of nicotine, but potentially without the same risks as combusting tobacco. But the e-cigarettes must be put through an appropriate series of regulatory gates to properly assess their risks and to understand their potential to help smokers who completely switch from combustible tobacco.

March 9, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Several people and reporters have contacted me asking how Juul can get away with advertising its products on television and radio, where cigarette advertisements have been prohibited since 1971.  The short answer is that the law prohibiting broadcast advertising of cigarettes applies to cigarettes, not tobacco products in general and Juul is not a cigarette.

            Having said that, there may be other avenues for stopping the Juul ads, as well as its major PR print advertising campaign to claim that the company only wants to provide a better alternative to adult smokers while it continues to make bushels of money selling Juul to youth and young adults:  All these ads are making illegal therapeutic (they can help users quit smoking) and modified risk claims (they are healthier) without the legally-required approvals from FDA.

March 9, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

On March 18, 2019, Mohinder R. Vindhyal and colleages will be presenting Impact on Cardiovascular Outcomes Among E-Cigarette Users: A Review From National Health Interview Surveys at the American College of Cardiology meeting.  This study adds to the growing literature (other papers: 1, 2, 3) that people who use e-cigarettes are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.  They also, for the first time, found an association with circulatory problems.

March 7, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

As part of the global open access movement, the University of California has been working to renegotiate its contract with Elsevier to make all papers published by UC faculty open access as soon as they are published in a way that does not increase total costs to UC and its faculty. 

This is also being driven by the rapidly increasing subscription costs and open access fees that Elsevier (and other publishers) are charging while increasing profit margins.  (Here is a good article in The Atlantic about the issue.)

UC has been negotiating with Elsevier for months and UC has been without a contact with Elsevier since January 1, 2019.  The negotiations broke down last week after Elsevier emailed UC faculty trying to mobilize them against the UC negotiating team (which includes, for the first time, faculty).

February 27, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

After years of arguing that people didn’t need to worry about increasing e-cig use among kids in England, because of the different (from the USA) regulatory environment, e-cig cheerleading Public Health England announced e-cig use among kids doubled in the last 4 years.  And that was before Juul invaded.

As expected, the Public Health England (a government agency) minimized the effect, as did, ASH England and other e-cig enthusiasts minimized this huge increase on the grounds that few kids were “regular” e-cig users.  This argument ignores the fact that the evidence (collected by e-cig enthusiasts!) shows that among kids who use tobacco in England, more than half are initiating nicotine use with e-cigs and any e-cig use predicts future smoking.  Indeed, the “gateway” effect in England is about 12, compared to 3-4 in the USA. 

And even if the kids did not add cigarettes later, bathing developing brains in nicotine is a very bad thing because the neurological changes are permanent.