Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

March 21, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We just submittted this public comment to the FDA on its proposed guidance change to cut a year after the grace period it is providing ecigs before it starts enforcing the law.  The tracking number on is 1k3-98wh-3mjb and a PDF of the comment is available here.

The material in this comment is also relevant to San Francisco's recent decision to introduce a law prohibiting the sale of ecigs that have not yet been approved by the FDA.


FDA’s proposed modifications to its compliance policy for e-cigarettes leaves millions of youth at risk for starting to use e-cigarettes; FDA needs to remove these products from the market now and clamp down on illegal therapeutic and modified risk claims in Juul and other e-cigarette advertising

Lauren Kass Lempert, JD, MPH; Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD; Matthew L. Springer, PhD; Stanton Glantz, PhD


Docket No. FDA-2019-D-0661

March 21, 2019

March 20, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

As I have written before, the battle for a ban on flavored tobacco products (including ecigs and menthol cigarettes and little cigars) before the Sacramento City Council is a strategic fight that is likely to affect the fate of a similar law being considered in the California State Legislature.  The legislature is just a few blocks from City Hall and the mayor of Sacramento is Darryl Steinberg, the former President Pro Tem of the State Senate, so a strong flavor ban in Sacramento City could help pave the way for state legislation.  Conversely, an ineffectual bill (as promoted by Juul and other tobacco industry interests) could have become the model for bad state legislation.

Despite the industry pulling out all the stops, the City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee voted 4-0 to reject he industry proposal and stay with the strong ordinance. 

The Sacramento Bee has a good story on what happened.  It talked to a colleague in Sacramento who was at the meeting reported that the industry put on an impressive show, vastly outnumbering the health forces in the audience and at the podium.

March 15, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Kim Nguyen, Laura Schmidt, Casey Palmer and I just published “Tobacco industry involvement in children’s sugary drinks market” in BMJ.  This paper use previously secret tobacco industry documents to show how the tobacco companies transformed marketing of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) to target kids using the strategies that the tobacco companies had developed to sell cigs to kids.

This paper is also relevant to the current concern over how the tobacco companies (including Juul) are using flavors to attract and hold kids.  The tobacco companies have known all about flavors, colors, and kids for a long time and how to transfer that technology between products.  

Here this the UCSF press release on the paper.  There is also an excellent story in the New York Times.

Soft Drink Companies Copy Tobacco Playbook to Lure Young Users

Cigarette Giants Bought Food Companies, Used Cartoon Characters, Colors, Flavors to Boost Sales of Sweetened Beverages

March 14, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Samir Soneji and colleagues’ new paper “Use of Flavored E-Cigarettes Among Adolescents, Young Adults, and Older Adults: Findings From the Population Assessment for Tobacco and Health Study” adds to the overwhelming case  that flavors are an important reason that kids use e-cigarettes.  They also specifically debunk the claim – made in all the debates over local laws banning the sale of flavored tobacco products -- that flavors are necessary to encourage adults to use e-cigs to quit smoking

This argument also ignores the fact that, for most smokers, using e-cigs makes it less not more likely that they will successfully quit smoking.

March 13, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

With the vote on Sacramento City tobacco flavor ban approaching, the Sacramento Bee recently published opposing op-eds on the subject, one supporting the ban by Drs. David Cook and Phil Gardner, “To save African American lives, flavored tobacco ban must include menthol cigarettes,” and one opposing the law by vape store owner Noordidin “Noor” Kachhi, “Ban on flavored vaping products will kill small businesses like mine.” 

Cook and Gardner frankly lay out the racial dimension of the importance that flavor bans include menthol, not just because many kids start with menthol cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigs, but because menthol has been a key element of tobacco industry targeting of the African American community.   They pointedly note that “In California, 70 percent of African American adults who smoke consume menthols compared to just 18 percent of white adults who smoke.”