Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

December 15, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Judge Gladys Kessler has signed the consent order that the US Department of Justice and the public health intervenors (Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and National African-American Tobacco Prevention Network) negotiated with Altria/Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds that will improve indexing and access to the tobacco industry documents available on the UCSF  Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.  This order details how the documents are to be indexed (a nerdy, but very important detail) and specifies that the companies will pay the Court $6.25 million, which the Court will provide to UCSF to continue to collect and improve access to the documents.

There are several people who deserve thanks for this major accomplishment.

December 13, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a proposed consent order today with a federal district court that finalizes requirements for three major tobacco companies to make internal documents public in accordance with an earlier ruling that the companies violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

The documents will be archived in UCSF’s Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL). The order, once approved by the court, will be part of the remedy phase of the largest civil racketeering case in the history of the United States The order specifies that the companies provide $6.25 million to the court to improve free public access to the documents via the internet.

The court will provide this money to the UCSF Legacy Library for this purpose. The order also specifies how the companies are to index the documents. The UCSF Legacy Library (http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu), first launched in 2000 with a major gift from the Washington DC-based American Legacy Foundation, now has 13.7 million documents (79 million pages) released as a result of litigation against the major tobacco companies related to their advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, political, public relations and scientific activities.

December 7, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Today the Institute of Medicine, a very cautious body, released its report from IOM, Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach.

It concluded, "Although the overall magnitude of the reported effect of exposure to active or passive smoking on risk for breast cancer is not large, some susceptible subgroups appear to have a relative risk that is elevated over that of never smokers. Evidence of an increased risk for breast cancer reinforces the importance of smoking prevention and cessation programs and policies supporting smoke-free environments." (page 3-26)

It's time for the large breast cancer advocacy groups to join the tobacco control community.

The full report is available for free at http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Breast-Cancer-and-the-Environment-A-Life...

Here is the full IOM press release (bold added):

IOM REPORT IDENTIFIES STEPS THAT MAY REDUCE WOMEN'S RISK FOR BREAST CANCER ASSOCIATED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS 

December 5, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Tobacco companies consistently work to prevent and undermine smoke-free laws. The tobacco industry and its allies have funded hospitality associations and other third parties to oppose smoke-free laws, argue that smoke-free laws will economically damage hospitality venues, promote ventilation and voluntary smoker accommodation’ as an alternative to smoke-free laws, and to challenge smoke-free laws in court.   In 2008, the Netherlands extended its smoke-free law to hospitality venues. Despite widespread public support for smoke-free hospitality venues, opponents successfully represented these laws as unpopular and damaging to small bars. These challenges and related smokers’ rights activities resulted in non-compliance among  all bars and reinstating an exemption for small, owner-run venues. This policy reversal was the result of a weak implementing media campaign (which failed to present the law as protecting nonsmokers), smoking room exemptions and reactive (vs. proactive) measures by the Ministry of Health and civil society. The policy failure in the Netherlands is the result of poor implementation efforts and the failure to anticipate and deal with opposition to the law. When implementing smoke-free laws it is important to anticipate opposition, used the media to target non-smokers to reinforce public support, and actively enforce the law.

November 30, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We just published a study of 205 people with heart failure in which we related measures of how well they could complete physical tasks and measures of emotional well being and found that there was a dose-response relationship between the amount of secondhand smoke that they were exposed to and reduced scores on these measures.  The bottom line: Even low levels of secondhand smoke have adverse effects on people with heart failure.  Physicians (and everyone else) should advise people with heart failure and their families to avoid secondhand smoke. Read the paper in Archives of Internal Medicine by clicking here.

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