Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

June 27, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

There has been a longstanding debate among advocates over whether it is better to accept a weak clean indoor air law to get your foot in the door with the idea of coming back later and strengthening it or whether it is better to hold out for a strong law from the beginning.

We just published a paper in American Journal of Public Health, "The Pattern of Indoor Smoking Restriction Law Transitions, 1970–2009: Laws Are Sticky," that examined the pattern of the passage of smoking laws across venues (government and private workplaces, restaurants, bars) and by strength (no law to 100% smoke-free) that were passed between 1970 and 2009 using data from the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights Ordinance Database. 

We found that each decade, more laws were enacted, from 18 passed in the 1970s to 3172 in the first decade of this century, when 91% of existing state laws were passed. Most laws passed took states and localities from no law to some level of smoking restriction, and most new local (77%; 5148/6648) and state (73%; 115/158) laws passed in the study period did not change strength. 

June 22, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Gary Fooks and Anna Gilmore just published a very important paper on how the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement could undermine tobacco control policies in countries including 40% of the world's population.

Their paper focuses on using the TPP to block plain packaging, but the concerns they raise apply to all tobacco control policies, all the way down to local clean indoor air laws and tobacco taxes.  Indeed, the issues they raise apply to any health or environmental law that might make transnational corporations less profitable.

This paper is must reading for anyone interested to tobacco control or public and environmental health generally.  It raises serious questions about the lack of transparency of the process by which the TPP is being negotiated and the preferential access to the negotiating process that multinational corporations, including multinational tobacco corporations, have.  A logical conclusion of the information in this paper is that the negotiating process needs to be opened up to public scrutiny.

Given the tremendous impact that trade agreements like the TPP could have on all aspects of life, I do not understand why they are not considered treaties, which would require a 2/3 vote in the US Senate for ratification. 

June 18, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

I just submitted the following public comment to the FDA


Docket ID: FDA-2013-P-0435
June 19, 2013

            Rather than prohibiting the use of menthol “as a characterizing flavor” are requested in the Citizen Petition, the FDA should simply prohibit the use of menthol (and menthol analogs) in cigarettes and, as it asserts jurisdiction over other tobacco products, those products as well.

            There are two reasons for pursuing a prohibition.

June 6, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Mitch Zeller, Director of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, will be the keynote speaker for the 2014 UCSF "It's About a Billion Lives" symposium, to be held on the UCSF Parnassus campus from 8:30 am until 1:00 pm on Friday, January 31, 2014.

You can view the 2013 and 2012 symposia here.

June 4, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Stanton Glantz, Professor of Medicine and Director of the UC San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education is seeking an individual interested in conducting a broad range of research projects related to tobacco control.  These include: (1) State and local policymaking process as it relates to tobacco control. The project involves preparing detailed case studies on tobacco policy making in different states, including research on the development and passage (or defeat) of state and local tobacco control legislation, funding and management of tobacco control programs, efforts of public health advocates to promote public health programs, and opposition to tobacco control by the tobacco industry and its allies and surrogates; and (2) Statistical and economic analysis of tobacco control programs and related issues. Data collection will involve researching written records, analyzing campaign contribution information, conducting interviews and doing field research.