Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

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.

December 18, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Several public health authorities in the EU (as well as Jonathan Polansky and me) just published a viewpoint paper in the European Journal of Public Health urging that as part of its review of motion picture subsidies, the European Commission implement the WHO recommendation of excluding movies with smoking and other tobacco use from any subsidy program.  Governments should not be in the business of using limited taxpayer funds to promote tobacco use. The paper is available by clicking here.

The full citation is: European governments should stop subsidizing films with tobacco imagery  Christopher Millett; Reiner Hanewinkel; John Britton; Ewa Florek; Fabrizio Faggiano; Andrew Ness; Martin McKee; Jonathan R. Polansky; Stanton A. Glantz European Journal of Public Health 2011; doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckr183 (PDF)  

December 15, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Judge Gladys Kessler has signed the consent order that the US Department of Justice and the public health intervenors (Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights, and National African-American Tobacco Prevention Network) negotiated with Altria/Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds that will improve indexing and access to the tobacco industry documents available on the UCSF  Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.  This order details how the documents are to be indexed (a nerdy, but very important detail) and specifies that the companies will pay the Court $6.25 million, which the Court will provide to UCSF to continue to collect and improve access to the documents.

There are several people who deserve thanks for this major accomplishment.