Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

August 22, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

This statement will appear in the voter guide delivered to every San Francisco voter this fall.

They don’t seem to understand that all SF’s ordinance says is that for e-cigs to be sold in SF, they need to get a premarket order from FDA, something Juul and the other e-cig companies could have done 3 years ago.

They also seem happy to see the flavor ban repealed and Juul writing San Francisco’s public health laws.

Will they be making public appearances for Juul, too?

August 22, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

At a time when there is growing concern about severe lung disease in young people who have been using e-cigarettes (some with nicotine, some with cannabis), the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) has been sitting on $20 million in research funds allocated under California Prop 64. 

This is of particular concern because all the cases in California have involved vaping cannabis

It is not clear if the problem is due to adulterated cannabis – all the cases in California were from people who bought he product on the illicit market – issues related to vaping per se (like inhaling propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, metal ions from the e-cig heater) or some combination of factors. 

We do know that e-cigarettes have a lot of bad effects on lungs and that these factors are not just due to nicotine.

My colleagues who have been trying to do research on health effects of cannabis have been particularly frustrated by the fact that BCC has been sitting on the research money that could have supported investigations that would have developed the knowledge to understand this sudden emergency.

BCC has said that it has been busy getting the legal market off the ground and research just wasn’t a priority.

August 21, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

I asked Mark Pertschuk, the lawyer who runs Grassroots Change’s Preemption Watch, whether he thought the language in Juul’s initiative would overturn San Francisco’s ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes (as well as other existing laws related to e-cigs).  Here is what he wrote me:


August 20, 2019


Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Professor of Medicine

Truth Initiative Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control

Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education

University of California San Francisco


Dear Dr. Glantz:

Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on the impact of San Francisco’s Juul initiative, and specifically Section 19N.5-6(a), on the ongoing marketing of e-cigarettes to children and young people.

The Juul initiative mirrors the tobacco industry’s favorite tool for undermining and invalidating effective public health policies: Preemption.[1] As a practical matter, were the Juul initiative to pass it would supersede and invalidate San Francisco’s ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, including Juuls. That ban was overwhelmingly adopted by 68% of San Francisco voters in a transparent democratic process in 2018.

August 8, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

What are Marlboros doing in a kid-rated TV show?

On August 6, forty-three state and territorial Attorneys General wrote America's leading media companies asking them to "eliminate or exclude tobacco imagery in all future original streamed content for young viewers."

The AGs cited the US Surgeon General's 2014 conclusion that on-screen smoking recruits young people to smoke and Truth Initiative's 2018 discovery of high tobacco content in popular streaming shows. Their letter also asked media companies with on-demand services to: 

August 6, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The San Francisco Ballot Simplification Committee has the important task of writing a plain English summary of what ballot measures do so voters don’t need to be lawyers to figure out what they are voting for.

In their summary of the Juul initiative, they ducked their responsibility when they did not clearly state whether or not the Juul initiative would repeal San Francisco’s ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes (as part of its overall ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products).  Rather than accepting former City Attorney Louise Rennie and the health advocates reading of the initiative (and mine) that the initiative would repeal the flavor ban (Proposition E, endorsed by 68% of voters) or siding with Juul that the Juul initiative did not repeal the flavor ban, the Committee said it “may” overturn the ban.

Even if one swallows this waffling, the Committee could have made it clear that a “no” vote would unequivocally keep flavored e-cigs out of San Franciso (current law).

So much for Ballot Simplification.

You can read the approved summary and my comments and what changes should be made to give voters a clear view of what they are voting on here.