Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 25, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Last March Jasmine Khouja and colleagues published “Is e-cigarette use in non-smoking young adults associated with later smoking? A systematic review and meta-analysis” in Tobacco Control.  This is the most comprehensive meta-analysis to data and convincingly shows that youth and young adults (up to age 30) who initiate nicotine use with e-cigarettes are, much more likely to be smoking cigarettes later.

The paper includes 17 studies from the US, UK, Mexico, Germany, and the Netherlands. Every single one of these studies showed that e-cigarette use was associated with significantly increased odds of subsequent cigarette smoking initiation.

May 22, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Locking down doesn't mean falling silent.

In this YouTube video, Cathy Rowan, representing the Maryknoll Sisters, asks the CEO of Netflix to pledge to keep future videos with substantial youth viewership smokefree — and keep tobacco brands out of all future videos, regardless of rating.

She asks CEO Reed Hastings (2019 compensation, $38.6 million):

With young people out of school and spending more time in front of the screen, how many are learning to smoke?

#AskTheCEO is a program started by the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), more than 300 global institutional investors managing half a trillion doillars in assets. The online feature directs shareholder questions to CEOs in virtual shareholder meetings. 

Socially-responsible investors have long worked to get smoking out of the films and TV shows that kids see most. They have filed shareholder resolutions and carry on direct dialogues with many of America's biggest media companies.

May 20, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Candice Bowling, Amy Hafez and I just published “Public Health and Medicine’s Need to Respond to Cannabis Commercialization in the United States: A Commentary” in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.  This paper traces the entry of multinational corporations into the cannabis business and describes how current federal drug policy makes it almost impossible to conduct research on the products people are actually using.  The resulting information vacuum plays into Big Business’ hands because it means that most of the health “information” is coming from the companies who are profiting from selling these new products. 

We also highlight the need for health advocacy groups to more broadly enter the cannabis policy debate.  With a couple notable exceptions, such as the American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics, the silence of health and medical groups has left a vacuum that is being filled by cannabis advocates.

This is not an argument against decriminalization; it is an argument for federal policy to catch up with reality so that personal, clinical, and policy positions can be based on evidence.

Here is the abstract:

May 13, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Who's the hero now? A smoking character in 2020's Superman movie on DC Universe

The Motion Picture Association (MPA) today issued this age-rating for a home video release:

SUPERMAN: MAN OF TOMORROW — Rated PG-13 for violence, some bloody images, suggestive material, language, smoking and brief partial nudity. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (#52714, issued May 13, 2020)

Superman: Man of Tomorrow is an animated, feature-length movie produced by DC Universe, a video-on-demand platform owned by AT&T’s WarnerMedia.

Write AT&T, the company responsible.We recommend you send a brief letter to:

      John Stankey, CEO

      WarnerMedia, LLC

      30 Hudson Yards

      New York NY 10001

May 12, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Smoking significantly worsens COVID-19, according to a new analysis by UC San Francisco of the association between smoking and progression of the infectious disease.

In a meta-analysis of studies that included 11,590 COVID patients, researchers found that among people with the virus, the risk of disease progression in those who currently smoke or previously smoked was nearly double that of non-smokers. They also found that when the disease worsens, current or former smokers had more acute or critical conditions or death. Overall, smoking was associated with almost a doubling of the risk of disease progressing (OR 1.91, 95% CI 1.42-2.59).

The report was published May 12, 2020, in Nicotine & Tobacco Research. (A copy is available at this link.)