Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

July 18, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a long-time front group for the tobacco companies, is now promoting the tobacco industry's "harm reduction" strategy by urging state legislatures to promote smokeless and dissolvable tobacco.  A colleague in Utah reported to me that a Utah state representatives has reportedly sponsored a resolution at the ALEC annual meeting to incentivize use of smokeless and dissolvable tobacco.  (While ALEC represents itself as being a voice for legislators, the corporations that fund ALEC essentially have a veto power over anything that makes it to a vote.)  Reportedly, the Utah State House Speaker believes
that these products should be used as cessation aids despite any evidence that they are effective or safe, as the recent Institute of Medicine report recommends. 

The legislator may sponsor legislation with the support of the State House Speaker on the grounds that these products should be used as cessation aids despite any evidence that they are effective or safe.  

July 11, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

about HIV and AIDS in the Black American community:

It explores [from the Frontline website:   “one of the country’s most urgent, preventable health crises—uncovering the layered truth about how and why HIV is so much worse in black America and revealing how prejudice, silence and stigma have allowed the virus to spread deep into the black community.”

"The heart of the two-hour documentary is the individual stories that illuminate how racism, stigma, ignorance and fear breed new HIV infections – despite the heroic stance of those fighting against the odds to stop the disease from spreading.
But the news out of the documentary – the real revelation 30 years-plus after the CDC first alerted the world to the mysterious illness in June 1981 – is that blacks were among the first 10 people known infected with the disease. That the researchers and the media reported only that gay white men were infected caused the black community (and presumably other people of color communities) to tragically believe HIV/AIDS wouldn’t impact them." end quote from Fronline website]

July 11, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We're about to vote on June's ballot, and I want to impress upon all of you how important it is for us to pass Prop 29, the tobacco tax initiative for tobacco-related disease research.  Prop 29 adds $1 per pack in excise tax, which goes to a pot dedicated to funding research on tobacco-related diseases.  Philip Morris (maker of Marlboro) and RJ Reynolds (maker of Camel) would have you believe its' about anything but public health--tax "justice", red tape, intrusive government, pink elephants--anything but public health.  These two companies are the funders behind the No on 29 campaign, for pretty obvious reasons--they'd lose customers.

If you don't have time to read any further below, I totally sympathize.  So I'll just say this:  VOTE YES ON PROP 29.  Prop 29 is smart, lean, simple, and only scary to those w/ vested interests in keeping us addicted to deadly stuff that cripples our economy and wastes our people.  No on 29 means means making people suffer to keep tobacco companies filthy rich; YES ON 29 means ticking a box to save CA health care costs and keep the people we love healthy. 


June 28, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Haverstraw, NY, (population 12,000) has passed the first-in-the-nation tobacco product display restriction enacted in April.  This is an important development because it represents the first such effort by a local government under the authority returned to them by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

As we have learned so well from the progress made on smokefree environments, small communities led the way.  Their successes and the precedents they created beginning in the early 1980s laid the groundwork for all the progress since then.  As a result, it is very important for Kaverstraw to succeed.

Unfortunately, Big Tobacco understands the importance of precedent even better than the public health community and has ganged up on this very small village with a lawsuit filed by 7 tobacco companies and the New York State Convenience Store Association.  (Here is their press release announcing the suit.)

June 22, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The California Legislature just closed another deficit by slashing health care for poor kids and in-home services for elderly.
At the same time, two bills to authorize $100 million a year to subsidize film production -- including films with smoking -- continue to move forward.
SB 1167 (Calderon), the extending California tax credits for another five years (and $500 million) will be heard by the Senate Government and Finance Committee this Wednesday, June 27.
AB 2026 (Fuentes), a sibling bill in the Assembly, is also pending a hearing in Appropriations.
AHA and ALA are on record opposing these bills unless movies with smoking are disallowed from receiving taxpayer funds, as is the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, which is charged by law (among other things) with making fiscal recommendations related to tobacco control to the Legislature.
In a positive development, last week the AMA adopted a national resolution against subsidizing movies with smoking: