Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

September 15, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Freedom to Harm: The Lasting Legacy of the Laissez Fare Revival, by Thomas O. McGaritya Professor of Administrative Law at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law., is a great overview of how the regulatory safety net has been shredded over the last 30 years as well as a shocking and detailed description of how little President Obama has acted to restore public health, occupational, and financial and consumer protections for the US population.  No wonder the FDA has done so little to control tobacco.

My only (minor) criticism of the book is that, while he mentions the tobacco industry, he does not fully develop the industry's behind-the-scenes role in a wide range of activities, including, among many other things, tort reform, the development of the Data Quality Act, the rise of "good epidemiology" and "junk science," and, of course, the Tea Party.

September 15, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

During a wide-ranging interview on ABC's This Week, President Obama had the following interchange with host George Stephanopoulos:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: –and still, 95% of the gains [of the economic recovery} go to the–


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS –top 1%.  Do you look at that, four and a half years in, and say, “Maybe a president just can’t stop this accelerating inequality?”

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: No, I think– I think the president can stop it.  I– the problem is that– there– continues to be a major debate here in Washington.  And that is:  How do we respond to these underlying trends?  If– if you look at– at– at the data–couple of things are– are– are creating these trends.

Number one, globalization.  Right?  Capital, companies, they can move businesses and– and jobs– anywhere they want.  And so they’re lookin’ for the lowest wages.  That squeezes workers here in the United States, even if corporations are profitable.  

September 12, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We just published Effect of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and Voluntary Industry Health Warning Labels on Passageof Mandated Cigarette Warning Labels From 1965 to 2012: Transition Probability and Event History Analyses in American Journal of Public Health.
This paper examines the pattern of enactment and strengthening of health warning labels on cigarette packages since 1965, when they were first introduced in the United States.  We found that ratification of the FCTC was associated with a significantly increase in the likelihood that a country would enact or strengthen its warning labels.
We also found that countries that entered into voluntary agreements with the tobacco companies were significantly slowed in their implementation of warning labels.
This is the first quantitative evidence that the FCTC is working to speed the diffusion of tobacco control policies.
Here is the abstract of the paper:
Objectives.We quantified the pattern and passage rate of cigarette package health warning labels (HWLs), including the effect of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and HWLs voluntarily implemented by tobacco companies.

September 11, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

You can listen to the segment in the September 11, 2013 installment of On Point at

There was even a caller who tried to use ecigs to quit and failed.

September 9, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

On the heels of withdrawing its tepid attempt to keep the Trans Pacific Partnership from becoming a powerful tool for Big Tobacco to block tobacco control policies in the US and countries participating in the TPP negotiations, the FDA has ignored the health community and granted the tobacco companies the full 60 day extension it asked for to comment on its long-delayed report on menthol.

For all Obama's talk about "respecting international standards" in his so-far unsuccessful effort to mobilize support to bomb Syria, he seems oblivious to the strong international consensus, as manifest in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, that cigarettes and other tobacco products are chemical weapons that are killing millions every year.