Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

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.

December 25, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Heikki Hiilamo and I just published a paper in Tobacco Control that uses the previously secret tobacco industry documents available in the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library to investigate the linkages between the local Nordic tobacco companies and the big multinationals. 

Beginning in the 1970s, the Nordic countries were early adopters of tobacco control initiatives, including advertising bans, health warning labels, purchase age limits and smoke-free laws. By 1986, Philip Morris officials in the USA were concerned that this activity could spread to America and other developed countries. Europe’s first product liability case against the tobacco industry was brought in Finland in 1988 when an individual smoker sued Rettig Oy (a local company that licenses R.J. Reynolds (RJR) brands) and Suomen Tupakka Oy (a British American Tobacco (BAT) subsidiary), claiming that their products caused his illnesses. The companies prevailed in all courts, including the Supreme Court, 13 years later in 2001.

December 21, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Lorillard, Inc., the remaining defendant cigarette manufacturer in the federal Racketeer Corrupt Influenced Organization Act (RICO) case against the tobacco industry, has been added to the consent order governing the release of industry documents and procedures for making them available on and improving the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.  Lorillard will pay $650,000 to the federal district court to improve public access to internal documents, bringing to $6.9 million the sum being paid by the companies to the Court, which is providing the money to the UCSF Legacy Library to index the documents and improve the searching capabilities of the web site.

The consent order (which specifies how Lorillard is to index the documents and specifies the payments to the court) is here, together with the associated motion.

Thanks again to DOJ, the intervenors, and the UCSF Library for making this happen.

December 20, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Today my colleagues Marcia Wertz, Thomas Kyriss, Sumi Paranjape, and I published a paper in PLoS Medicine that reanalyzes data from Philip Morris' “Project MIX,” which included chemical analyses and animal toxicology studies of 333 cigarette additives that Philip Morris published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2002.