Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

January 30, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Five US Senators -- Frank Lautenberg, Dick Durbin, Tom Harkin, Sherrod Brown, and Richard Blumenthal -- have written a letter to the FDA Commissioner urging the FDA to get the lead out and start effectively protecting consumers.

Among other things, the senators pointed out that, "cigarette companies continue to deceptively market their products, misleading consumers about the health consequences that come from smoking.  For example, American Spirit Cigarettes, made by Reynolds American subsidiary the Sante Fe Natural Tobacco Company, claim to be 'natural' and 'organic,' implying that these cigarettes are better for smokers' health.  Likewise, Philip Morris Company sells Marlboro Smooths as well as Virgina Slims, whose names have similar 'healthy' connotations.  Additionally, companies use colors to suggest that some cigarettes are safer.  Marlboro now uses Gold and Silver as code for 'light' and 'ultra light.'"

These concerns mirror increasing frustration I am hearing broadly across the health community.

January 14, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

UC President Mark Yudof has written the chancellors of all 10 UC campuses instructing them to develop and implement smokefree policies by 2014.  (UCSF is already smokefree, including e-cigarettes).

The policy includes all tobacco products (including smokeless and e-cigs) and indoor and outdoor spaces.  It also prohibits the sale and advertising of tobacco products.  It applies to all UC facilities, including housing, which may make this the largest single expansion of smokefree multiunit housing.

This decision was announced in response to recommendation from the systemwide Smoking Policy Subcommittee of the Occupational Wellness Forum; its report is an excellent resource for people considering similar policies elsewhere. 

UCSF is already smokefree.

There is a good story on this in the San Francisco Chronicle.

January 14, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The University of California Press just published Robert Proctor's new history of the tobacco industry, The Golden Holocaust.  It is the first history to draw heavily on the tobacco industry documents and provides many new insights.

I (and several of our fellows and staff) had an opportunity to review and critique an advanced draft of the book and met with Robert several times to offer feedback.  We all found the book a great read.  There was lots in it that I did not know.

Everyone working on tobacco control should read this book.

January 7, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The FDA has appealed the DC district court ruling that the new graphic warning labels required by the FDA we violations of the First Amendment on the grounds that they were compelled speech. A group of attorneys general and coalition of health groups have submitted amicus (friend of the court) briefs to the DC Court of Appeals. 

Both briefs address the constitutional issues (making complementary points).  The AG's do a great job of putting the warnings in the context of the fact that the major cigarette companies are racketeers and has some great quotes from Judge Kessler's RICO opinion.  The health groups outline the need for graphic warning labels in general and provide specific justification for each image selected.

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