Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

October 16, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

As Martin McKee wrote in the BMJ on October 16, the revisions just made to the draft EU Tobacco Products directive were a big win for the tobacco companies who are pushing e-cigarettes:

October 15, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Kai-Wen Cheng, Cassandra Okechuskwu, Robert McMillen, and I just published "Association between clean indoor air laws and voluntary smokefree rules in homes and cars" in Tobacco Control.
 
Here is the abstract (with a couple technical terms replaced with plain English):

Objectives This study examines the influence that smokefree workplaces, restaurants and bars have on the adoption of smokefree rules in homes and cars, and whether there is an association with adopting smokefree rules in homes and cars.

Methods [Statistical analysis was] used to jointly estimate the likelihood of living in a smokefree home and having a smokefree car as a function of law coverage and other variables. Household data were obtained from the nationally representative Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control 2001, 2002 and 2004–2009; clean indoor air law data were from the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation Tobacco Control Laws Database.

October 12, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Woody Allen has blocked release of his new film , Blue Jasmine, in India because the Indian government requires an anti-smoking ad to run concurrently with the smoking on screen while the film is running.

This policy response was developed after years of negotiation and litigation with Bollywood over the issue of smoking in the movies, in part as an alterative to giving smoking movies an mature audience rating (what Smoke Free Movies recommends).  

Blue Jasmine,' a PG-13 film with echoes of A Streetcar Named Desire, is the first of Allen's films released since India began enforcing movie-smoking rules last year. These rules aim to discourage the tobacco industry from exploiting Indian film and to lessen the harm to young audiences from tobacco imagery, no matter where it originates.

Mr. Allen's specifically objected to the warning text under smoking scenes that India requires. Of course, he could avoid the crawl by omitting the smoking. The choice he made should be respected.

At the same time we should applaud India for implementing policies to protect its youth from the effects of onscreen smoking and applying its policies to all films.

October 9, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Ling and Popova recently published "Alternative Tobacco Product Use and Smoking Cessation: A National Study" in American Journal of Public Health that , like earlier research, found  that an important reason that adults tried e-cigarettes (as well as smokeless products) was because they through they would help them quit smoking conventional cigarettes.

Ever use of e-cigarettes was not associated with being a successful quitter (OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.72-1.65) but was associated with being an unsuccessful quitter (OR=1.78, 95% CI 1.25-2.53) compared to people who had never tried to quit.

This evidence is from a cross-sectional study (i.e., a snapshot in time) rather than following the same people over time (a longitudinal study), so by itself does not allow making causal conclusions.  Taken with the two published longitudinal studies, one of which found that e-cig use had no effect on quitting and the other of which showed lower quit rates for e-cig users, it does add to the case that the loudly made claims that e-cigs help smokers quit are wrong.

October 5, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The Guardian reported on October 5, 2013, that Germany was preparing to oppose the strong "track and trace" provisions in the pending EU Tobacco Products Directive designed to make it much more difficult for the tobacco companies to smuggle cigarettes. 

The companies are pushing their own ineffective plan (called Codentify) as opposed to something that will actually crack down on smuggling.

This is not the first time that Germany has acted as Big Tobacco's agent to block EU action against tobacco.  As we described in detail in our 2002 paper "Tobacco industry strategies for influencing European Community tobacco advertising legislation" (published in Lancet), Germany worked hand-in-glove to push the tobacco companies' desired language.  We reported:

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