Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

August 19, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Jim Sargent and colleagues recently published a new study providing a long-term followup of an earlier study (published in 2005) that yielded an attributable risk for smoking initiation due to the movies of 26%.  Adding in this 2012 Sargent study to the four earlier studies that we used to estimate that the attributable risk for smoking initiation due to the movies was 44% lowers the pooled estimate to 37% with a 95% confidence interval extending from 25% to 52%.  (Our earlier estimate, published in Thorax, was 44% with a confidence interval from 34% to 58%.) 

From a statistical point of view, these two estimates are indistinguishable, but the 37% value is the more reliable one since it is based on more information than  the earlier estimate.

More details are available here.

July 20, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

From a friend (with a little editing by me):
The new Katy Perry movie, Part of Me, which is "smoke free," is accompanied by a "bonus feature" that gets glamorized cigarettes in front of 10-14 year old girls.
After the previews, but before the movie began there was a blast from the past-- the screen showed the Paramount Studios' "vault" opening to reveal the Olivia Newton John smoking her cigarette in the final scene from Grease. As words and cartoon icons flashed a sing-a-long across the screen, she smoked it
seductively before being coached to fling it at John Travolta's feet.
If you've never seen this scene, here's a link. The cigarette is portrayed as a significant part of what has transformed squeaky clean Sandy into a strong
sexy woman.

July 18, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

New research from Dartmouth shows that eliminating smoking from youth-rated PG-13 films would cut youth smoking by 18%, a gigantic effect.

Jim Sargent and his colleagues followed a national sample of nearly 6000 students for 2 years to assess the relationship between the amount of smoking they saw onscreen in movies and the likelihood that the youth would start smoking.  Moving beyond their earlier work that simply looked at the total amount of smoking youth were exposed to, the Dartmouth group separated the effects of smoking in G/PG, PG-13 and R rated films.  (There was little exposure to smoking in G/PG films.)

The study found that, while individual R rated films have, on average, more smoking than PG-13 films, youth received about 3 times as much exposure to onscreen smoking in PG-13 films than R rated films.

July 18, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a long-time front group for the tobacco companies, is now promoting the tobacco industry's "harm reduction" strategy by urging state legislatures to promote smokeless and dissolvable tobacco.  A colleague in Utah reported to me that a Utah state representatives has reportedly sponsored a resolution at the ALEC annual meeting to incentivize use of smokeless and dissolvable tobacco.  (While ALEC represents itself as being a voice for legislators, the corporations that fund ALEC essentially have a veto power over anything that makes it to a vote.)  Reportedly, the Utah State House Speaker believes
that these products should be used as cessation aids despite any evidence that they are effective or safe, as the recent Institute of Medicine report recommends. 

The legislator may sponsor legislation with the support of the State House Speaker on the grounds that these products should be used as cessation aids despite any evidence that they are effective or safe.  

July 11, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

about HIV and AIDS in the Black American community:

It explores [from the Frontline website:   “one of the country’s most urgent, preventable health crises—uncovering the layered truth about how and why HIV is so much worse in black America and revealing how prejudice, silence and stigma have allowed the virus to spread deep into the black community.”

"The heart of the two-hour documentary is the individual stories that illuminate how racism, stigma, ignorance and fear breed new HIV infections – despite the heroic stance of those fighting against the odds to stop the disease from spreading.
But the news out of the documentary – the real revelation 30 years-plus after the CDC first alerted the world to the mysterious illness in June 1981 – is that blacks were among the first 10 people known infected with the disease. That the researchers and the media reported only that gay white men were infected caused the black community (and presumably other people of color communities) to tragically believe HIV/AIDS wouldn’t impact them." end quote from Fronline website]