Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

September 20, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Dharma Bhatta, Stella Bialous, Eric Crosbie, and I just published "Exceeding FCTC obligations: Nepal overcoming tobacco industry interference to enact a comprehensive tobacco control policy" in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.  As the title suggests, this paper describes how tobacco control advocates in Nepal, with collaboration from international partners, overcame industry opposition to enact strong tobacco control legislation.  They made particularly creative use of litigation -- something the tobacco companies do -- to move tobacco control forward.  This paper is the sequel to our earlier paper, "Tobacco control in Nepal during a time of government turmoil (1960-2006)."

Here is the abstract:

September 19, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

On September 16, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to do three things in response to the e-cigarette epidemic:

  • Direct the Department of Tax and Fee Administration to develop recommendations to remove illegal and counterfeit vaping products from stores and include nicotine content in the calculation of the existing tax on electronic cigarettes
  • Direct public awareness campaign to focus on educating youth about the harms of vaping tobacco or cannabis products
  • Direct the Department of Public Health to develop recommendations to place warning signs at retailers and on product advertisements

He also signed legislation to impose stricter age verification requirements for sale of tobacco products.

While it is great that Governor Newsom signed the age verification bill and is engaged with the e-cigarette epidemic, I am concerned that the actual steps he is taking on nicotine e-cigs will do more harm than good.  The fact that he is now talking about cannabis along with tobacco is a good thing and should be expanded.

What’s the problem?

September 15, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The search for what is causing all the severe pulmonary disease associated with e-cigarette use has focused on possible “contaminants” and the fact that many, but not all, the people who got sick used THC e-cigs, often as well as nicotine e-cigs.

But, based on the strong mouse study showing propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin (PV/VG) damages surfactant in lung air sacs, creating lipid globules that are taken up by macrophages that seem the same as has been seen in e-cig users who develop serious lung disease, I wonder if it is PG/VG that is causing, or one of the main causes of these serious cases of lung disease.

In addition to being used in virtually all nicotine e-cigs, it is used in at least some THC e-cigs.

This doesn’t mean that there could not be other things going on, but PG/VG, which is not a “contaminant” deserves serious consideration.

September 14, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The American Medicine and Public Health Historians and the Organization of American Historians together with 35 medical historians and related academics has filed an amicus brief in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation in federal court in Ohio calling on the court to require public disclosure of the discovey documents prroduced in the case.  They argue that making the tobacco litigation documents publich has served the public interest and that the same thing should be done in the opioid litigation.

September 13, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The media has presented the anticipated FDA action on flavored e-cigarettes as a “ban” on flavors.  The FDA is not planning to issue a regulation (technically a product standard under Section 907 of the Tobacco Control Act) prohibiting the use of flavors.  Rather, it is planning to adjust and finalize the draft “compliance policy” it proposed in March 2019 by stopping to use its “enforcement discretion” to allow illegal e-cigarette products to remain on the market.

This is a good idea, at least in the short run, because, unlike a regulation, which could take years to finalize, the compliance policy will take effect 30 days after it is announced (unless the industry manages to block it in court).

To understand what this means, it is important to understand that after the August 2016 “deeming rule,” all e-cigarettes on the market became illegal because they were tobacco products under FDA jurisdiction that were being sold without a “marketing order” from the FDA, which is required to legally sell new tobacco products like e-cigarettes.

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