Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

September 3, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Two papers authored by large diverse groups (including several e-cigarette enthusiasts who have supported companies like Juul), just concluded that e-cigarettes don’t help people quit smoking.  Even more important, e-cigarettes have displaced FDA-approved therapies for smoking cessation and people who use e-cigarettes in quit attempts are more likely to still be using e-cigarettes later than people who use conventional therapies.

These are very important findings that should inform FDA assessment of whether allowing e-cigarettes to be sold as consumer products would be “appropriate for the protection of public health,” the standard in the law.

These results should be particularly sobering to Mitch Zeller, head of the FDA Center for Tobacco Products, who was recently quoted (again) as saying that e-cigarettes might be beneficial for people who “switch completely.”  These studies show that “switching completely” is rare.

And, of course, there is also the huge problem of youth nicotine addiction initiation with e-cigs.

Here is the press release UCSF put out on the two studies, with a little editing from me to put it in the present tense:

 

August 31, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

On Friday, August 28, shortly after the Senate unanimously passed SB 793, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law in a Zoom meeting.  (He is second from the left in the bottom row.)   The think I like best about this screen shot is that it includes most (but not all) of the people who have worked so hard on SB 793 for the last two years.

There is no question that this is a huge loss for the big tobacco companies and their surrogates (led by Rev Al Sharpton, who should be protecting African Americans from predatory tobacco companies and their menthol cigarettes and little cigars, not working to protect tobacco profits).  It is also a huge loss for Adam Gray, chair of the Assembly Government Organizations Committee and Big Tobacco's best friend in the California legislature, who failed to stop SB 793 despite the huge campaign contributions the tobacco companies have invested in him in recent years.

This victory should also send a strong message to the FDA as thy start assessing whether e-cigarettes (and other new flavored tobacco products) are “appropriate for the protection of public health” as the law requires them to do.  The public does not want these products out there appealing to kids.  It is also time for FDA to deal with menthol.

August 27, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

In the last few days, news reports reveal that the FDA has accepted several premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) for review, including for Juul and for one or more unspecified Vaporesso products, and others have been submitted, including for Reynolds’ Velo Dissolvable Nicotine Lozenges.

The Juul news report says that FDA accepted Juul’s application less than three weeks after it was submitted on July 30, and the Vaporesso’s website crows that its PMTA was accepted “only three days after submission.”  

August 24, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The Assembly just passed SB 793 50-0.  Now it goes back to the Senate to vote on the amendments introduced in the Assembly.

Well, at least the tobacco companies supported the California economy with their ad campaign against the bill.

UPDATE

After the vote closed, a few Assembly members changed thir votes.  The final vote was 56 yes, 1 no, 22 nt voting.

August 24, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Last week the California Assembly Appropriations Committee stood up to major pressure from the tobacco companies and their allies ad advanced SB 793, which prohibits the sale of almost all flavored tobacco products – including menthol – in California to the full Assembly on a strong 13-3 vote with 2 abstaining.

 

To become law the Assembly needs to pass the bill and the Senate needs to agree to the Assembly amendments by August 31.

 

The industry did succeed in getting a few exemptions as the bill moved through the process, including for flavored hookah, premium cigars, and pipe tobacco. While these exemptions are unfortunate the key provisions, banning menthol and including e-cigarettes, little cigars, and smokeless tobacco, remain intact.

 

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