Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 30, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

As I described on May 16, 2019, Juul filed a cleverly worded initiative to overturn San Francisco’s ban on flavored tobacco products (at least as they apply to e-cigarettes) and generally roll back enforcement of a wide range of laws against e-cigarettes.

The first step in this process is for the City Attorney to write a “ballot title and summary” that will appear on the petitions that Juul will circulate to collect signatures to put the measure on the ballot.  The ballot title and summary is meant to inform voters so that they know what they are signing without being lawyers. 

The City Attorney has a responsiblity to be neutral in the way that he descrbes the initiative to be fair to all parties.

The City Attorney completely abrogated his responsibility in this matter.

May 24, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Here is a summary of what happened from CalMatters:

Legislation to curb e-cigarettes favored by teenagers died Thursday after a Senate committee agreed to industry-backed amendments that all but gutted the measure.

CALmatters’ Elizabeth Aguilera delved into the intense lobbying by tobacco and e-cigarette companies over the measure earlier this week.

May 21, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

California Senator Jerry Hill, a public health advocate, has sponsored a state law, SB 38, modeled on San Francisco’s comprehensive ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. 

The tobacco industry has been fighting this bill tooth and nail.  Along the way, two bad amendments got attached, one exempting flavored hookah and another strange one that said:

“Tobacco product” means a product that meets both of the following requirements: The product either does not have a patent issued prior to January 1, 2000, or is a menthol flavored product.”

The patent language has the kind of specificity that only a lobbyist with a lot of specialized knowledge could push.  That leaves the question open as to who had the muscle to get such an exemption.

While I don’t know the origin of the amendment, I do know that Philip Morris had developed a functioning e-cigarette by 1996 and patented the “capillary aerosol generator” technology.

Philip Morris also has several pre-2000 patents on the technology for its heated tobacco product IQOS, which is kind of like an e-cigarette that uses a solid tobacco plug instead of a liquid.

May 21, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

My colleagues and I just submitted this comment to Health Canada on e-cigarettes.  A PDF is here.


Manager, Regulations Division

Tobacco Products Regulatory Office

Tobacco Control Directorate

Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch

Health Canada

Address Locator: 0301A

150 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

[email protected]



Consultation on Potential Regulatory Measures to Reduce Youth Access and Appeal of Vaping Products: Evidence and Recommendations from the U.S. Experience


Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD;1,2 Lauren Kass Lempert, JD, MPH;1 Minji Kim, PhD.;1

Lucy Popova, PhD.;3 Shannon Lea Watkins, PhD.;1 Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, PhD.;1

Karma McKelvey, PhD, MPH;2 Julia Mcquoid, PhD.;1 Emily Keamy-Minor, BA;4 Matthew Springer, PhD.;1 Pamela Ling, MD, MPH;1 Stanton Glantz, PhD1  


May 18, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Yogi Hendlin, Pam Ling, and their colleagues here at UCSF just published “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Stance on Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Systematic Review” in American Journal of Public Health.  The collected everything published between 1992 and 2016 that talked about tobacco harm reduction in English in peer reviewed journals.

They found 826 articles.  While 49% endorsed tobacco harm reduction, most of these did not actually report original data, but rather were letters, commentaries, and reviews.  These articles are general not subject to the same level of rigorous review as publications reporting original data. 

Citations to these papers can be misleading, because the citations look the same as empirical studies published in the same journal.  Tobacco companies (and other corporations) take advantage of this fact when citing these publications in regulatory, political, and legal filings.

Industry support was strongly predictive of a pro-harm reduction position.

Leaving out the publications that were not obviously industry funded, 49% opposed tobacco harm reduction compared to 41% supporting.