Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 16, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

·         Prop 29 would increase the tobacco tax by $1 a pack of cigarettes with corresponding increases for other tobacco products.
·         The money would go to reinvigorate California’s anti-smoking campaign (about 23 cents), cancer and other medical research (about 70 cents, including some money for facilities), about 3 cents for law enforcement of tobacco control laws, 2 cents for administration.
·         The biggest effect would be to create a dramatic drop in smoking, putting California within reach of realizing former Surgeon General Koop’s vision of a smokefree society.
·         The research money would be managed by a committee consisting of the UCSF, UCB, and UCSC chancellors, cancer center directors and other experts and stakeholders, which grants made on an NIH model to California institutions.
·         Our analysis estimates that, absent 29 passing, smoking will start in increase in the next 5 years in California.  The reason for this is that the state’s current anti-smoking program, funded by a 5 cent cigarette tax passed by the voters in 1988, is running out of steam because inflation has seriously eroded the purchasing power of that 5 cents.

May 13, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Knowing that they must do their best to stay out of the public eye, the tobacco companies running and financing the campaign against Proposition 29, the initiative Californians will vote on this June to raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack to fund anti-smoking activities and medical research, the cigarette companies have tried to hide behind various "independent" groups that they have funded for years.

I have already talked about the financial connections between the California Taxpayers Association (CalTax) and the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Now another group has appeared -- Americans for Prosperity.  (News stories quoting AFP: story 1, story2.)

May 10, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The Sacramento Bee just reported that Governor Jerry Brown removed LaDonna Porter from the state scientific committee charged with evaluating potential water pollutants for the state of California.  Porter has served as spokesdoctor for two tobacco industry campaigns against cigarette tax increases, as well as supported industry positions opposing regulation of perchlorate, a toxic water pollutant (details).   The Bee reported that health groups and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom called for her removal.

This was an important action by Governor Brown to protect the public interest against tobacco industry interference.  Now he should finish the job by returning the $26,000 campaign contribution Philip Morris gave him last week.

May 10, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The attorneys general just sent made VERY strong letters to the studios telling them to get smoking out of youth-rated films.  The letter will curl your hair.

It is especially encouraging that, in this day of divisive hyperpartisanship, the signatories are so bipartisan. Of 25 GOP-affiliated AGs, 13 (52%) signed and of 27 Democratic AGs, 21 (78%) signed.  (The remaining are unaffiliated.)

People should thank the AGs who signed and ask the few that didn't ... including my AG, Kamala Harris ... why they didn't.

May 10, 2012 — BREAKING NEWS

MOVIE STUDIOS SHOULD STOP DEPICTING SMOKING IN YOUTH-RATED MOVIES, SAY ATTORNEYS GENERAL

May 9, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The National Institutes of Health has announced that it is creating a new  "National Institute of Substance Use and Addiction Disorders" and invited public comment on this plan. If done well, this could be an improvement.  If done poorly -- particularly if all tobacco-related work was swept into the new institute -- this plan could do great harm to the tobacco research enterprise.  The public comment period is open until 11:59 PM on Friday May 11.  While the deadline is near, I urge everyone to put in comments on this proposal.

Details of the proposal are at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-045.html, where you can post a comment.

Here is the public comment I submitted:

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