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Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

January 7, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The FDA has appealed the DC district court ruling that the new graphic warning labels required by the FDA we violations of the First Amendment on the grounds that they were compelled speech. A group of attorneys general and coalition of health groups have submitted amicus (friend of the court) briefs to the DC Court of Appeals. 

Both briefs address the constitutional issues (making complementary points).  The AG's do a great job of putting the warnings in the context of the fact that the major cigarette companies are racketeers and has some great quotes from Judge Kessler's RICO opinion.  The health groups outline the need for graphic warning labels in general and provide specific justification for each image selected.

January 3, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Jobs is the argument for subsidizing smoking movies in California. As part of another research project, I obtained some statistics on job creation by spending on various industries in California from the US Department of Commerce (known as RIIMS II multipliers). Here are the number of jobs created by $100 million:

Elementary and secondary schools              2609
Museums, historical sites, zoos and parks    2387
Higher education                                           2185
Civic, social and professional organizations 1971
Advertising and related services                   1508
Scientific research and development            1391
Motion picture and video industries               1123

I included Museums, historical sites, zoos and parks and the education sector because they have suffered huge cuts in California and affected millions of lives and the three categories Civic organizations, Advertising, and Scientific Research because they comprise California's tobacco control program.  All of these activities produce many more jobs per dollar spent than putting money into the big (mostly out-of-state) media companies that own Hollywood.

(You can get your state multipliers at https://www.bea.gov/regional/rims/rimsii/.)

January 2, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Reiner Hanewinkel and colleagues recently published a comparison of the presence of smoking in youth-rated films in Europe with the ratings of the same films in the USA.  Because the European film rating authorities are more tolerant of adult language (the f word) and sex than the MPAA is in the USA, many films rated R in the US get youth ratings in Europe.  Because R rated movies in the US tend to be smoky, the result of these different rating practices is that 85% of movies with smoking were youth-rated in Europe compared to 59% of the same films in the US.  

This result is comparable to what we concluded in a study comparing the effects of rating practices in the UK vs the US and that Jonathan Polansky found in a study published for Physicians for a Smokefree Canada found in Canada.

December 27, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Allan Brandt has a wonderful paper in the January 2012 issue of American Journal of Public Health, "Inventing Conflicts of Interest: A History of Tobacco Industry Tactics," that pulls all the pieces together to show how, over the years and with great care, tobacco industry PR experts have shaped the way that scientists, to say nothing of policy makers, the public and the media, think about science and what it takes to "prove" something in science. While I knew most of the details in this paper, it was very nice to see them all pulled together and placed into context in one place.  People who write important documents like Surgeon General reports should pay particular attention to this paper so see how skillfully they have been steered into ever-increasing standards of proof.