Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

July 11, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We're about to vote on June's ballot, and I want to impress upon all of you how important it is for us to pass Prop 29, the tobacco tax initiative for tobacco-related disease research.  Prop 29 adds $1 per pack in excise tax, which goes to a pot dedicated to funding research on tobacco-related diseases.  Philip Morris (maker of Marlboro) and RJ Reynolds (maker of Camel) would have you believe its' about anything but public health--tax "justice", red tape, intrusive government, pink elephants--anything but public health.  These two companies are the funders behind the No on 29 campaign, for pretty obvious reasons--they'd lose customers.

If you don't have time to read any further below, I totally sympathize.  So I'll just say this:  VOTE YES ON PROP 29.  Prop 29 is smart, lean, simple, and only scary to those w/ vested interests in keeping us addicted to deadly stuff that cripples our economy and wastes our people.  No on 29 means means making people suffer to keep tobacco companies filthy rich; YES ON 29 means ticking a box to save CA health care costs and keep the people we love healthy. 


June 28, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Haverstraw, NY, (population 12,000) has passed the first-in-the-nation tobacco product display restriction enacted in April.  This is an important development because it represents the first such effort by a local government under the authority returned to them by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

As we have learned so well from the progress made on smokefree environments, small communities led the way.  Their successes and the precedents they created beginning in the early 1980s laid the groundwork for all the progress since then.  As a result, it is very important for Kaverstraw to succeed.

Unfortunately, Big Tobacco understands the importance of precedent even better than the public health community and has ganged up on this very small village with a lawsuit filed by 7 tobacco companies and the New York State Convenience Store Association.  (Here is their press release announcing the suit.)

June 22, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The California Legislature just closed another deficit by slashing health care for poor kids and in-home services for elderly.
At the same time, two bills to authorize $100 million a year to subsidize film production -- including films with smoking -- continue to move forward.
SB 1167 (Calderon), the extending California tax credits for another five years (and $500 million) will be heard by the Senate Government and Finance Committee this Wednesday, June 27.
AB 2026 (Fuentes), a sibling bill in the Assembly, is also pending a hearing in Appropriations.
AHA and ALA are on record opposing these bills unless movies with smoking are disallowed from receiving taxpayer funds, as is the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, which is charged by law (among other things) with making fiscal recommendations related to tobacco control to the Legislature.
In a positive development, last week the AMA adopted a national resolution against subsidizing movies with smoking:

June 22, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

I just got a call from AP saying that they are calling the race for Big Tobacco.

I was a little surprised that they did this at this point in time.  There are wide differences in the responses by county, which makes predictions of the outcome complicated.  I have developed a statistical model that predicts the votes since the election from those on election night.  (The post-election counts are systematically more for Prop 29 than the election day returns.)   The last projection I did (based on returns as of June 20) showed Prop 29 losing by .31%,  with 49.85% yes vs 50.15% no) or 15,861 out of 5,129,712 votes.

This difference was, however, well within the statistical margin of error.

Here is what I told AP by way of reaction:

1. Both the Secretary of State and the health groups should carefully consider whether or not a recount is in order.  (It the Secretary of State orders it, the state pays; if the health groups request it, they have to pay.)  This is a complicated question, but given how close it is, the cost of a recount might be worth it.  (If, at the last minute, Philip Morris and Reynolds lose, you can be sure they will demand a recount.)

June 17, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

As of Friday afternoon, the Secretary of State shows that the tobacco companies' lead has dropped to just .4%, 16,778 votes.

As before, things remain too close to call.

The LA Times has a good story, which is available here.