Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

September 27, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Smoke Free Movies ran this ad in Variety today to help educate the new MPAA president, former US Senator Christopher Dodd, about whether he can trust what he haers from his staff on the MPAA's record on smoking in movies.  The full ad is at

Smoke Free Movies has launched a series of print advertisements in Variety and other publications. This advertisement first ran in the September 27, 2011 edition of Variety and September 28, 2011 edition of The Hollywood Reporter.

10 things Christopher Dodd needs to know about the MPAA

In May 2007, the MPAA claimed to state Attorneys General that it had shifted policy and “considers” all smoking when rating films. Since then:

1) More than 170 top-grossing movies rated PG and PG-13 have delivered 30 billion tobacco impressions to US theater audiences.

2) The MPAA has not publicly identified any film given an R-rating because of its tobacco content.

3) “Tobacco” and “smoking” are mentioned nowhere in the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Rules (2010).

September 21, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

In considering any applications for modified risk tobacco products, the FDA should give serious consideration to the fact that the major tobacco companies are currently subject to an on-going federal court orderunder the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act for creating an illegal racketeering enterprise for the purpose of defrauding the public. The court also found that the pattern of past activities that led to this decision is continuing and likely to continue in the future.

Creation and promotion of products that were presented to and perceived by the public as “safer” than conventional cigarettes when, in fact, they were not, has been and remains a central element of this fraud. Modified risk” products have a strong potential for simply being the latest chapter in this fraud.

Manipulation of science and the presentation of scientific results has also been a central element of the fraud. For these reasons, the FDA should be extremely sceptical of any scientific results or claims advanced by any tobacco company or any organization with funding or other connections to the tobacco industry.  Searching the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library ( for industry documents related to “harm reduction” yields many documents that were withheld on the grounds of attorney-client privilege. 

August 29, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

We now have the date for the Tobacco Center's "It's About a Billion Lives" symposium.  It will be from 8:30 to 12:30 in UCSF's Cole Hall on Friday Feb 3.  The keynote speaker will be Ursula Bauer, the Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and Sam Hawgood will do the wrap up.  

August 29, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

A new paper, just published in Thorax, entitled "Smokng in movies and adolescent smoking: Cross cultural study in six European countries, is the largest such study to date, involving over 16,000 teens from Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland and Scotland, found that youth who were highly exposed to onscreen smoking were about twice as likely to smoke as lightly exposed youth.  This paper is particularly important because the social environment and background prevalence varies widely across these countries.  In addition, the study was large enough to control for the number of movies seen, which would capture other exposures such as sex and violence.  As in earlier studies, there was a dose-response, with the larger marginal effects tending to be in the more lightly exposed kids.  This paper builds on the already strong evidence that smoking in movies causes smoking and that there is a dose-response, raising further concerns about the practice of governments subsidizing films with smoking.

August 27, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Simon Chapman and Matthew Farrelly published an essay in PLoS Medicine that appeared in the same issue as our paper repeating Simon’s well-worn arguments.  Their essay is here.

Here is our comment on their arguments:


Chapman and Farrelly’s essay [1], “Four Arguments Against the Adult-Rating of Movies with Smoking Scenes,” reflects the same fundamental misunderstanding of the logic and implications of modernizing the ratings system that Chapman made in a similar essay in 2008 [2].