Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

October 22, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Tobacco Control just published a special supplement on heated tobacco products, in particular PMI’s IQOS.  These papers use PMI’s own data as well as independent data to show that they are not as safe as PMI (and the other companies) claim.  You can download the whole issue here; a table of contents and links to each of the individual papers is at the bottom of this blog post.

Here is the UCSF press release on the issue, with emphasis on the UCSF authors:

Heated Tobacco Product Claims by Tobacco Industry Scrutinized by UC San Francisco Researchers and Others in Independent Data Review
Fourteen of 22 Papers Published in a Special Issue of Tobacco Control on Health, Marketing and Regulatory Aspects of New Tobacco Product Feature UCSF Authors

Claims by the tobacco industry that heated tobacco products (HTPs) are safer than conventional cigarettes are not supported by the industry’s own data and are likely to be misunderstood by consumers, according to research published in a special issue of Tobacco Control.

October 21, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

JUUL, the e-cigarette that looks like a flash drive, is really efficient at delivering the addictive drug nicotine, and now dominates the kid market, is mirroring what the cigarette companies have done for decades in now claiming that they don’t want kids to smoke and promoting their own “youth smoking prevention” program.

As Jessica Liu and Bonnie Halpern-Felsher just pointed out in an insightful commentary published in Journal of Adolescent Health, “The JUUL curriculum is not the jewel of tobacco prevention education,” that the JUUL curricula looks just like similar curricula that the cigarette companies promoted since the 1980s whenever they felt pressure on the kids’ issue.  As Liu and Halpern-Felsher note, the JUUL curriculum

  • Blames kids and parents for kids’ JUUL use
  • Does not stress that JUUL delivers nicotine, an addictive drug
  • Ignores the role of JUUL’s advertising and social media promotions in the exploding youth use
  • Does not forthrightly address the importance of the flavors that JUUL uses to attract and hold kids

If JUUL was serious they would drop flavors and stop their social marketing efforts.

October 11, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Jesse Elias and his colleagues just published “Revolution or redux? Assessing IQOS through a precursor product” in Tobacco Control.   They used previously secret tobacco industry documents to examine Accord, an earlier version of IQOS that Philip Morris marketed without success between 1998 at 2006.  In contrast to IQOS, PM scientists and executives consistently stated that Accord reduced users’ exposure to harmful constituents but that these reductions did not render Accord safer than conventional cigarettes.  (PMI’s data shows that the same thing that is true for IQOS.)  Moreover, Elias and colleagues found that when comparing the aerosol chemistry test results between Accord and IQOS there was not a consistent reduction in exposure to toxicants, calling into question PMI’s current safety claims for IQOS, which are made on the basis of reduced exposure.

Here is the abstract:

October 9, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Tony Yang and I just published “San Francisco Voters End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products Despite Strong Industry Opposition” in Annals of Internal Medicine.  This paper puts the successful defense of the San Francisco Flavor Ban Ordinance in a broader policy and public health context.  It concludes:

Despite challenges from tobacco companies, states and localities have clear authority to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products to reduce tobacco use and its harms to citizens. At least 2 states and more than 100 localities have passed restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products, although laws differ in their applicability to specific products and store types. However, Proposition E represents a major step forward because it is the nation's first comprehensive ban on the sale of flavored tobacco, and it has already inspired others to follow.

October 7, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Dharma Bhatta and I just published “Parental tobacco use and child death: analysis of data from demographic and health surveys from South and South East Asian countries” in International Journal of Epidemiology.  We determined the associations between parental tobacco use and child death under the age of five in eight South and South East Asian countries (Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Timor Leste) and found that any tobacco use (including smokeless tobacco, which is widely used in that part of the world), was associated with increased child mortality  This result reinforces the need to aggressively implement protections from secondhand smoke and to encourage parents not to use any form of tobacco at home.

Here is the abstract:

Background: Child mortality is a public health challenge in developing countries, and exposure to second-hand smoke and prenatal exposure to smokeless tobacco are risk factors for child death. We determined the associations between parental tobacco use and child death under the age of five in eight South and South East Asian countries.