Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 17, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Earlier this week, in a case brought by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, and a broad coalition of health groups, a federal court in Maryland ruled that the FDA must enforce the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act as it applies to e-cigarettes.

When the FDA finally issued is “deeming” rule in August 2016 taking jurisdiction over e-cigarettes all e-cigarettes on the market instantly became illegal because they did not have an order from the FDA allowing them to be marketed.  FDA dealt with this situation by saying they would exercise “enforcement  discretion” and allowed the companies selling the newly deemed products one year (through August 2017) to submit the needed applications for authorization to sell these products.  The FDA gave itself another year, until August 2018 to complete these reviews.  Any product without a premarket order could not be sold.

When Scott Gottlieb became commissioner, he extended the time for companies to file their applications until August 2022 and also allowed the products to stay on the market until FDA finished its review of the application with no end date.

May 16, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Taking another page from its senior partner Philip Morris’ playbook, Juul just filed the paperwork to start collecting signatures for an initiative that, according to Juul, “imposes additional regulations and restrictions on the access, sale, and marketing of vapor products.”  In fact, a careful reading of their proposal shows that it rolls back the City’s ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes (together with other flavored tobacco products), undermines enforcement of current law prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to people under 21, and guarantees that Juul will remain welcome in the City.

This is just like Philip Morris’ attempt to trick California voters into overriding the state clean indoor air law in 1994 by promoting a state initiative that nominally restricted smoking but really guaranteed smoking areas. 

Juul’s initiative is framed around preventing sales of e-cigarettes to people under 21, and, no doubt, that is how they will promote it.  The reality is, however, that it is already illegal to sell e-cigarettes to people under 21 under both existing San Francisco and California law.  So, Juul’s initiative is, on its face, unnecessary.

May 13, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The latest Smokefree Movies ad has been published in The Hollywood Reporter (May 13 issue). The full-page ad reveals that most characters shown smoking in films “based on a true story” are entirely invented.


Hollywood has released a wave of kid-rated biographical dramas in recent years. Because these films contain nearly three times as much smoking as all-fiction films, they prevented the number of tobacco incidents on screen from declining, even as the number of films with smoking have dropped.


Kid-rated bio-dramas have also tripled the number of tobacco impressions delivered to moviegoers since 2015.


May 12, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The new ACS CAN recently released a press release, “Political Contributions from E-cigarette Manufacturer Juul Exposed by ACS CAN Campaign to Snuff Tobacco Money Out of California Politics” summarizing new tobacco industry campaign contribution data in California. 

Their website Snuff Tobacco Money out of California Politics shows that Democrat Adam Gray, chair of the Assembly Government Organization (GO) Committee, accepted $196,000 in tobacco industry campaign money since July 2014.  This is more than four times the amount accepted by the second biggest recipient of tobacco money, Republican Assembly Member Frank Bigelow, who accepted $46,400.  Bigelow is the Vice Chair of Assembly GO.

May 11, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

On May 9, Tobacco Free Kids, AHA, ALA, ACS CAN, and Truth wrote the FDA asking them to investigate unauthorized smoking cessation claims Juul is making in its new ads. 

In fact, the health groups' letter is the investigation.  FDA should simply use this information and start enforcing the law.

Juul is taking advantage of FDA’s about “switching” that the FDA included in its rule on what is and is not considered a cessation claim.  Essentially, what the FDA did was gave Juul (and other e-cigarettes and now PMI’S IQOS) direction on how to sidestep an otherwise FDA’s well-crafted rule to prevent precisely what Juul is doing.