Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 31, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC), an industry-supported body, has rated '12A' the advertising trailer for Rush, the Marlboro-infused racing movie. 

Slated for Sept. 13 release, the Universal movie dramatizes the James Hunt-Nikki Lauda racing rivalry in 1976. Marlboro sponsored the Maclaren team for which Hunt drove. The film prominently displays Marlboro logos on racing cars and drivers' suits. 

Marlboro later switched its sponsorship to Ferrari. During pre-production and production of Rush in 2011-12, PM International was running its own Formula One-themed promotion — called 'Red Rush: Marlboro' — across Europe and Asia.

Both of the US and international advertising trailers so far released include prominent Marlboro logos. The logos also appear in movie clips running behind the movie's "Partners" web page. The trailer in US theaters depicts the James Hunt character smoking. Hunt was reportedly a heavy smoker and died of a massive heart attack at age 45.

Rush has been rated 'R' by the Motion Picture of America for 'sexual content, nudity, language, some disturbing images and brief drug use.' The BBFC rated the Rush trailer '14A' on April 22, but has yet to announce a rating for the film itself.

May 30, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Ontario (Canada) and New York (USA) health groups united on January 30, 2013, to protest the dumping of heavy-smoking US films into Ontario's youth market and to demand an
adult rating for future films with smoking in both the US and Canada.

        Ontario Lung Association media release:

Ontario researchers have found that most heavy-smoking films rated "R" in the US are rated 14A or even PG when released across the border in Canada, potentially exposing Canadian adolescents to even more on-screen smoking than US kids.
Ontario and New York are both important producers of US-financed films. Most of the media companies that own major US film studios are based in New York City.

Besides the film industry and the Ontario rating board, today's letter from Ontario and New York health and medical groups was copied to Ontario's consumer affairs and health ministers, New York's health commissioner and attorney general, and the National Association of Attorneys General.

May 28, 2013

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Crystal Tan, Thomas Kyriss, and I just published a new paper in PLoS Medicine using industry documents to further illuminate how the tobacco companies work to influence the policy process that tells a cautionary tale for the FDA and others considering how to interact with tobacco companies.

Spurred by the creation of potential modified risk tobacco products, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to assess the science base for tobacco “harm reduction,” leading to the 2001 IOM report Clearing the Smoke. The objective of this study was to determine
how the tobacco industry organized to try to influence the IOM committee that prepared the report.

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