Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 23, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The widely-respected nonpartisan Public Policy Policy Institute of California just released a poll showing that Prop 29 is winning with 53 percent of voters planning to cote yes compared to 42 percent "no."  While this is about a 10 point drop in the yes vote compared to where things were before Philip Morris and Reynolds dumped $40 million into California trying to bury the campaign, the fact that 29 is still ahead shows that most of the people are still not buying the lies.

In addition, while the Yes campaign has been on the air with its ads, it has had nowhere near the money that the tobacco companies have dumped into the campaign.  Things are going to get a little more balanced in light of the big contribution the American Cancer Society just made, which, combined with other donations, has allowed the Yes side to get its media up around the state.

The San Jose Mercury News  reported a sneaky trick that the cigarette companies used to try and make it look like somebody other than them was supporting the No campaign:

May 22, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Today the American Cancer Society really put its money where its mouth is and made two contributions totaling $2.5 million to the Yes on 29 campaign ($2,420,000 from ACS and $80,000 from the ACS Cancer Action Network).  Laurene Powell Jobs (wife of Steve Jobs) also gave $25,000.

According to MapLight, this brings the total money to the Yes campaign to $11.1 million.  (The amount for the actual election is a couple million less, because this amount includes the money spent to qualify the initiative.)

Needless to say Big Tobacco is spending more.  Of the $40.7 million "donated" so far to the No on 29 campaign, 97% comes directly from tobacco companies. MapLight reports $27.3 million from Altra (Philip Morris and other tobacco holdings), $12.1 million from Reynolds American (RJR and other tobacco holdings)and $40,000 from the International Cigar and Pipe Retailers Assn.

This makes the tobacco companies' campaign bigger than any national super-PAC, except Mitt Romney's.  If this was a national campaign Big tobacco would have spent about $315 million by now.

May 19, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The tobacco companies are working assiduously to make it look like there is a genuine grassroots opposition to California Proposition 29.  We have over 802 million pages of previously secret tobacco industry documents in the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.  My colleague Kate Swartz did quick searches on many of the organizations whose names appear on No on 29 materials.  While we did not have time to screen all these documents but it is clear that there are thousands of documents linking these groups (often financially) to Big Tobacco.   They are hardly independent voices.

By the way, just because we did not find documents for some of the organizations does not mean that there are no financial or other ties.  The most recent of the industry documents are several years old.  In addition, we only searched on the organization names without doing more sophisticated digging.

Click on the links to peruse the documents and see what you think.

Stars indicate appearance of organization in Prop 29 Mailers (mailer specified)


May 16, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Rebecca Schane, Jodi Prochaska and I just published a paper in Nicotine and Tobacco Research that compared counseling nondaily smokers on the effects of secondhand smoke on others with counseling on the dangers of smoking to the smokers.  Three months later the 7-day quit rate was three times higher among the people counseled about secondhand smoke.

Read the full paper at

May 16, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

·         Prop 29 would increase the tobacco tax by $1 a pack of cigarettes with corresponding increases for other tobacco products.
·         The money would go to reinvigorate California’s anti-smoking campaign (about 23 cents), cancer and other medical research (about 70 cents, including some money for facilities), about 3 cents for law enforcement of tobacco control laws, 2 cents for administration.
·         The biggest effect would be to create a dramatic drop in smoking, putting California within reach of realizing former Surgeon General Koop’s vision of a smokefree society.
·         The research money would be managed by a committee consisting of the UCSF, UCB, and UCSC chancellors, cancer center directors and other experts and stakeholders, which grants made on an NIH model to California institutions.
·         Our analysis estimates that, absent 29 passing, smoking will start in increase in the next 5 years in California.  The reason for this is that the state’s current anti-smoking program, funded by a 5 cent cigarette tax passed by the voters in 1988, is running out of steam because inflation has seriously eroded the purchasing power of that 5 cents.