Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 12, 2023

The UCSF TCORS submitted the following public comment to the FDA on April 13, 2023. The Comment Tracking Number is lgf-ds2n-iuvbClick here to download the PDF.

FDA’s proposed regulation establishes reasonable tobacco product manufacturing practice requirements that could help minimize the risks of products, especially to youth and young adults

Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0227

 Requirements for Tobacco Product Manufacturing Practice

Lauren Kass Lempert, JD, MPH; Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD; Stanton A. Glantz, PhD; 
Neal L. Benowitz, MD; Carolyn S. Calfee, MD MAS; Benjamin W. Chaffee, DDS MPH PhD; Jennifer Fung, PhD; Stuart Gansky, DrPH; Wendy Max, PhD;
Vira Pravosud, PhD, MPH, MS; Matthew L. Springer, PhD;
Pamela M. Ling, MD, MPH


April 13, 2023

April 26, 2023

The use of vape products (e-cigarettes) to consume nicotine and cannabis (marijuana) has become a significant public health concern, especially use by adolescents.  A new study conducted by Benjamin Chaffee and colleagues at UCSF and the California Tobacco Control Program gives further evidence to suggest that having flavors in those vapes may increase adolescents’ willingness to try them, regardless of whether the vape contains nicotine or cannabis.

The study was part of the 2021-2022 California Teens Nicotine and Tobacco Project and was based on a statewide online survey of 2,342 adolescents aged 12-17. As part of a discrete choice experiment within the survey, teens were shown two hypothetical vape products and asked to select which one they would be willing to use (or neither) if offered by a best friend. The hypothetical products differed in their flavor, what they contained (nicotine, cannabis, or “just vapor”), and other characteristics.

March 24, 2023

Vira Pravosud, PhD

In 2017, California passed a $2 cigarette tax increase, and between 2014-2020, local Bay Area cities passed local flavored tobacco bans. Dr. Vira Pravosud led a new study that showed that between 2014 and 2020, cigarette prices increased even more than the $2 tax, and prices were higher in San Francisco and in cities in Alameda County with local flavor bans. San Francisco was more expensive than any other city in Alameda County.  The study also found that the menthol flavored tobacco policy in San Francisco was well implemented. The retail stores in San Francisco had completely stopped selling Newport menthol cigarettes and Blu brand menthol e-cigarettes in 2019. This study suggests that local flavor bans affected menthol product availability and might also have indirect effects to increase tobacco prices. Higher prices and elimination of flavored tobacco products should help reduce youth tobacco use.

February 28, 2023

Mehrdad Arjomandi, MD
A Study of 13 Million Veterans finds Smoking is associated with Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a rare inflammatory disease that often affects the lungs and many other organ systems. The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. Large epidemiological studies on sarcoidosis are scarce, but a few small studies in the past found a higher prevalence of sarcoidosis among nonsmokers. In this large epidemiologic study of the nationwide United States Veterans Affairs electronic medical records, Mohamed Seedahmed and colleagues identified 23,747 veterans with a diagnosis of sarcoidosis among over 13 million veterans who received care through or paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System. They found that a history of tobacco use was associated with a 58% higher likelihood of incident sarcoidosis.

February 21, 2023

Neal Benowitz, MD

Benowitz and coworkers published a public health warning in the Journal of Medical Toxicology about the potential for inhaled delta-8 THC-O-acetate (THC-O) to cause lung injury, similar to that seen in the EVALI epidemic in 2019.  The lung injury seen in EVALI cases is believed to have been largely caused by inhalation of delta-9 THC oil containing vitamin E acetate (VEA), used as diluent. When heated, the acetate moiety of VEA is converted to ketene, a highly potent lung toxicant, similar in action to phosgene.