Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

March 7, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The new Surgeon General's report, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults, contains an extensive discussion of the effects of smoking in movies on young people.  The bottom line: "The evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people."  (Page 6)

Significantly, the 36 page long section, "Images of Smoking in Movies and Adolescent Smoking," is in Chapter 5, "The Tobacco Industry's Influences on the Use of Tobacco Among Youth."   The Surgeon General is effectively putting smoking in the movies in the same category as conventional cigarette marketing activities.  Indeed, the summary of Chapter 7, "A Vision for Ending the Tobacco Epidemic," concludes, "Greater consideration of further restrictions on advertising and promotional activities as well as efforts to decrease depictions of smoking in the movies is warranted, given the gravity of the epidemic and the need to protect young people now and in the future (page 7).

March 5, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Sungkyu Lee, Pam Ling, and I just published "The vector of the tobacco epidemic: tobacco industry practices in low and middle-income countries" in Cancer Causes and Control.  This paper reviews the available literature -- largely based on previously secret tobacco industry documents available at the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, to show that the multinational tobacco companies use essentially the same strategies and tactics in low and middle income countries as they have used in richer countries.

March 5, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Assemblyman Fuentes has introduced AB 2026 to extend California's $100 million a year giveaway to the big studios for another 8 years. 

Between mid-2009 and 2011, California spent $75 million subsidizing movies including smoking and, so, were promoting smoking to kids.  These films went on to make $1.1 billion at the box office, plus even more money in DVD and video streaming, making one wonder if they really needed the subsidy in the first place.

Even worse, if current patterns continue, movies with smoking subsidized by California taxpayers will account for about 17,000 new 12-17 year old smokers during the next cohort of 12-17 year olds, who will run up an estimated $270 million in smoking-induced costs.  (Details of our analysis are here.) 

The American Heart Association and California Medical Association have taken "oppose unless amended" positions on such subsidy bills.  I hope that others will join them, including people who think that having world class higher ed and parks should be a higher priority in California than helping to sell cigarettes to kids.

February 16, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

There was a horrific incident yesterday when an e-cigarette exploded in a user's mouth, creating severe burns.  (The ABC news story is available here.)

This is the starkest evidence yet that these products have poor quality control and need to be regulated.

Meanwhile, the FDA dithers along.  Maybe the Consumer Product Safety Commission could issue an emergency order.  Or state AGs could sue for fraud based on all the unsubstantiated claims the e-cig companies make on their web sites. 

This is certainly all the evidence that the Department of Transportation needs to issue an emergency order banning e-cigs on airplanes.  (We needs an underwear bomber when you can explode an  e-cig?) 

It is yet another reason why e-cigs should be included in clean indoor air laws, so that they are not used indoors.

To learn more about the unsubstantiated claims being made about e-cigs, check out Rachel Grana's presentation at our "It's About a Billion Lives" symposium available here.