Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 25, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Our new paper, "Hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarction before and after implementation of a comprehensive smoke-free policy in Uruguay: experience through 2010," just published in Tobacco Control, provides the longest follow up yet -- 4 years -- assessing the effects of enacting a strong smokefree law on hospital admissions for heart attacks (acute myocardial infarctions).  Consistent with our meta-analysis of 43 studies of the effect of smokefree laws on heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, and other lung problems, implementation of Uruguay's law was followed by 17% a drop in hospital admissions for heart attacks. 

The reduction was maintained over the following 4 years, adding to the evidence that the health improvements following enactment of strong clean indoor air laws, adding to the already strong case that tobacco control is a key component of short and long term medical care cost containment.

May 21, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

A new paper adds to the growing evidence that claims that e-cigarettes help people quit smoking are false.

Katrina Vickerman and colleagues collected information on e-cigarette use from people who called state quitlines in Connecticut, Louisiana, Nebraska, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.  Nearly one third (30.9%) of respondents reported ever using or trying e-cigarettes; most used for a short period of time
(61.7% for less than 1 month). Consistent with what other surveys have found, the most frequently reported reasons for use were to help quit other tobacco (51.3%) or to replace other tobacco products (15.2%).

Most important, both e-cigarette user groups were significantly less likely to have quit smoking 7 months after first calling the quitline compared with participants who had never tried e-cigarettes: Only 21.7% of people who used e-cigarettes to help quit and 16.6% of those who used e-cigarettes to replace other tobacco products had quit compares to 31.3% of people who did not use e-cigarettes (p

May 17, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The motion picture industry, working through the BBC, which has production facilities in Wales, has been pressing the government to create an exception for smoking on soundstages.  Under pressure mobilized by ASH Wales, the government just announced that the law would be left as it is. 

On May 16, ASH Wales reacted. saying, ""After a year-long campaign the Health Minister announced yesterday that, after reviewing the evidence, the Welsh Government would be abandoning its proposals to exempt the film and TV industry from the smoke-free legislation."

Wales was not the first time that the movie industry has worked to keep smoking on sound stages. 

In the United States, only North Carolina (headquarters for Reynolds American) gives media productions a blanket exemption from smokefree laws. The exemption was added to NC's hard-fought 2009 smokefree legislation at the eleventh hour, when Motion Picture Association of America VP Vans Stevenson told state newspapers that Hollywood would pull the plug in North Carolina unless movie smoking was exempted. 

May 8, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

California governor Jerry Brown has proposed amending Proposition 65, California's law requiring public warnings about exposures to carcinogens and reproductive toxicants to reduce "frivolous lawsuits.

I was surprised to read that Matt Rodriquez, secretary of CalEPA, supported the governor by citing a recent Proposition 65 case in which a Southern California group claimed that banks had violated Prop. 65 by not posting warnings about secondhand smoke that came from smokers near entrances or ATMs as "frivolous" because CalEPA identified secondhand smoke outdoors as a carcinogenic toxic air contaminant in 2007. Rather than ridiculing the fact that outdoor secondhand smoke can be a serious problem he should use his rregulator authority to protect people from secondhand smoke near bank entrances, ATM lines, bus stops and other outdoor environments, which would make the Prop 65 lawsuits unnecessary.

April 30, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

I spent three great weeks in New Zealand, one week hosted by the University of Otago ASPIRE 2025 tobacco control program, where I presented lectures in Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin.  The visit generated substantial media coverage dealing with smokefree movies, effective anti-tobacco media campaigns, and e-cigarettes.  The Nine to Noon interview provides a good summary of all the issues that came up (as well as my days working at NASA on Project Apollo) and the TV one interview a good summary of why New Zealand should invest more in industry and secondhand smoke denormalization ads.

With a foundation of its existing ad ban, high taxes, point-of-purchase restrictions, (reasonably good) smokefree policies, and pack warning labels (with plain packaging on the way), allocating available resources towards these more aggressive approaches will make it easy for New Zealand to reach its goal of being smokefree by 2025.

April 23: NZ Herald: What do you think about smoking in movies?