Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

August 5, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Senator Jerry Hill’s SB 793 made it out of the Assembly Health Committee relatively unscathed and is now heading to Assembly Appropriations for one last hearing before going to the full Assembly.  (It already passed the Senate.)

Thanks to a massive tobacco industry mobilization, Sen Hill had to accept narrow amendments to exempt premium cigars and pipe tobacco (in addition to previous amendments exempting hookah), but the large health coalition was able to keep menthol and all other cigars in the bill. 

Keeping most cigars in the bill – including little cigars popular with poor kids – was particularly important.

July 28, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Steve Anderson and Jim Lightwood just published Health Care Cost Savings Attributable to the California Tobacco Control Program, 1989 to 2018 through the University of California eScholarship initiative.  Using sophisticated econometric analysis they convincing show that in its first 30 years, the program reduced actual medical costs by a total of $500 billion (in 2019 dollars). 

In 2019, California medical costs were about $37 billion below what one would have expected had the voters not passed Prop 99 in 1988.  At a time that California, like all states, is struggling with the financial challenges created by the coronavirus epidemic, the California Tobacco Program (CTCP) is not only saving lives but also making a substantial contribution to helping California meet its current financial challenges.

This amount only includes medical care costs (doctors, hospitals, drugs, and related costs), not indirect costs such as lost productivity or the value of lives lost.   The savings in those areas are generally even more than the direct medical costs.

Moreover, using an alternative measure of medical costs, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the estimated savings are even higher: $737 billion.

July 27, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Here is what the WHO had to say:

WHO takes this opportunity to remind Member States that are Parties to the WHO Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC) of their obligations under the Convention. Heated tobacco products are tobacco products, meaning that the WHO FCTC fully applies to these products. (Decision FCTC/COP8(22)) Specifically, Article 13.4(a) obliges Parties, to prohibit "all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship that promote a tobacco product by any means that are false, misleading or deceptive or likely to create an erroneous impression about its characteristics, health effects, hazards or emissions."

WHO reiterates that reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in Heated Tobacco Products (HTPs) does not render them harmless, nor does it translate to reduced risk to human health. Indeed, some toxins are present at higher levels in HTP aerosols than in conventional cigarette smoke, and there are some additional toxins present in HTP aerosols that are not present in conventional cigarette smoke. The health implications of exposure to these are unknown.

June 29, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

FDA Disregarded its Own Scientists’ Recommendations and Independent Research Showing that IQOS Presents Carcinogenic, Genotoxic, Hepatotoxic, Cardiovascular, and Pulmonary Risks and Misapplied the Law

Lauren Lempert and I just published “Analysis of FDA’s IQOS marketing authorisation and its policy impacts” in Tobacco Control that raises serious questions about how FDA assesses whether new tobacco products are “appropriate for the protection of public health,” the standard in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that gave FDA jurisdiction over tobacco products.

IQOS is a “heated tobacco product” that generates a nicotine aerosol by heating a slick of tobacco rather than a liquid, which is how e-cigarettes work.  (IQOS can be thought of as a solid e-cigarette.)