Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

August 14, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

After several academic units at campuses across the University of California system started implementing policies to decline research money from the tobacco industry, then-UC President Bob Dynes objected, claiming an infringement of academic freedom and engaged the Systemwide Academic Senate to oppose these policies. 

In 2007, after a battle that lasted several years, including support of a policy of declining tobacco industry money championed by then-Chairman of the Board of Regents Richard Blum, the Regents adopted a compromise policy, RE-89, that prohibited academic units from adopting blanket policies against taking tobacco industry money but recognized that there was a need for careful review of any grant applications to the tobacco companies (or their affiliated organizations) including personal approval by the campus' chancellor before any applications could be submitted.  RE-89 also mandated annual reports to the Regents listing all tobacco industry grants and applications.

August 12, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Fair Warning, a news service run by Myron Levin, one of the country's top reporters on the tobacco industry, has a fine piece today, "Protest by Tobacco State Politicians, Business Groups May Snuff Out Obama Administration Trade Move," that describes how the tobacco companies are working through their usual allies and third parties to fight the anemic provision that the Administration floated last year to try and protect the FDA from tobacco companies using the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a way of fighting regulations on tobacco products. 

While the Administration never actually tabled a formal proposal, the general principles the US Trade Representative Office presented in a conference call I participated in was so narrowly focused (on "science-based regulations") that it would have provided no protection for state or local tobacco regulations and, in the end, perhaps not even the FDA.

The article also does a nice job of describing the longstanding relationships that the tobacco companies have with a string of US Trade Representatives that it can activate when needed.

August 8, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Many people have asked me what I thought about the report "Peering through the mist: What does the chemistry of contaminants in electronic cigarettes tell us about health risks?" that being publicized by the e-cig advocacy group CASAA.

This paper uses  the same approach to risk assessment that I remember from risk assessments done of secondhand smoke years ago by tobacco industry apologists that concluded that secondhand tobacco smoke could not produce any adverse health effects.

August 7, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Brett Loomis and colleagues just published an interesting paper, "The Economic Impact of Smoke-Free Laws on Restaurants and Bars in 9 States," that adds to the already considerable evidence that these laws have no effect or are good for the hospitality business.

Here's the abstract:

Smoke-free air laws in restaurants and bars protect patrons and workers from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke, but owners often express concern that such laws will harm their businesses. The primary objective of this study was to estimate the association between local smoke-free air laws and economic outcomes in restaurants and bars in 8 states without statewide smoke-free air laws: Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia. A secondary objective was to examine the economic impact of a 2010 statewide smoke-free restaurant and bar law in North Carolina.

August 5, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Casinos throughout the country are often exempt from smoke-free workplace laws. Now a new study led by UC San Francisco has found that when smoking is banned in casinos, it results in considerably fewer emergency calls for ambulances.
The study is the first to examine the health impact of smoking bans in casinos.
The authors conclude that if smoke-free laws were to apply to casinos as well as other businesses, it would prevent many medical emergencies and reduce public health costs.
“Our study suggests that exempting casinos from smoke-free laws means that more people will suffer medical emergencies as a result,” said lead author Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at UCSF.
“The research shows strong evidence of a significant drop in ambulance calls due to less secondhand smoke exposure,” Glantz said. “Inhaling secondhand smoke increases the likelihood of dangers with blood clots and makes it more difficult for arteries to expand properly – changes that can trigger heart attacks. Legislative and tribal exemptions for casinos, which are all too common, are potentially putting employees and customers at risk of secondhand smoke exposure.”