Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

April 22, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The California Taxpayers Association (CalTax) and the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, which signed the "No on 29" ballot arguments have long histories of working with the cigarette companies, including "donations" from Philip Morris over the years.

You can see the documents in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library on them by clicking on these links for CalTax and California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

April 19, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds (and a few pals) have started their media blitz against Proposition 29, the initiative to be voted on this June that would increase the cigarette tax by $1 and allocate the money to reinvigorate Californian's anti-smoking program and fund medical research on cancer and other tobacco-induced diseases.  What is amazing is how little has changed since voters saw through Big Tobacco's lies in 1988 and passed Proposition 99 that changed the world of tobacco control by creating the California Tobacco Control Program.

April 18, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Joseph Califano, Jr., and a distinguished group of former Secretaries of Health, CDC Directors and Surgeons General have again called on the FDA to act on well-established science demonstrating that menthol in tobacco products endangers public health.  My only criticism of what they are demanding is that it does not go far enough.  The FDA should not just prohibit menthol flavored cigarettes, but any use of menthol in tobacco products.  In addition to being a "characterizing flavor" in some varieties of cigarettes, it interacts with nicotine to modulate the "impact" of smoking.  The cigarette companies can "tune" the levels of nicotine and menthol to achieve the desired effect.  That's why menthol is an additive in 90% of US cigarettes.

The hope among the optimists is that President Obama doesn't want to issue any controversial new regulations (and we all know that Big Tobacco will make a decision to get rid of menthol controversial).  He will so something after the election, we are assured. 

March 31, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The Korean tobacco company, KT&G, has developed a clever way to use "educational programs" as a way to get around South Korea's restrictions on cigarette marketing.  The courses both improve the company's image (in itself important, since young adults who do not like or trust tobacco companies are less likely to smoke and, if they do, are more likely to be planning to quit [evidence 1, evidence 2]) as well as to promote its brands as examples of desirable brand imagery in its marketing courses.  This case both illustrates the way that "corporate social responsibility" is part of marketing and the importance of the need for aggressive enforcement of marketing restrictions.

Read the full paper, just published in Tobacco Control by clicking here.

March 23, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We just published a paper showing the need for ongoing pressure on politicians to keep tobacco control programs not only alive, but functioning and effective.  In Florida the health groups secured a constitutional amendment to create and fund a tobacco control program that had to follow CDC best practices.  The problem is that the Crist Administration and its health department purposefully maladministered the program so that it would not have much effect and the health groups were unwilling to force them to do a good job.

This failure not only meant that more people are smoking in Florida, but that the poor results there can be used to undermine CDC best practices, claiming that they don’t work.

Here is the abstract in the American Journal of Public Health: