Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 11, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

While the largest and best-know collection in the UCSF Industry Documents Library is the Truth Tobacco Documents Library, we now also include Drug, Chemical Food industry documents.  Thanks to a donation of documents from Kaiser Health News, we have now added our first collection of internal drug industry documents on OxyContin promotion.  Check them out here.

I hope that this collection will be the first of many.  In particular, state attorneys general should follow Minnesota Attorney General Hubert "Skip" Humprey III's example and refuse to settle their lawsuits unless the defendant drug companies agree to allow them to make all the discovery documents public, rather than destroying them, as has happened in the first two settlements.

May 11, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted its latest Smoking in the Movies fact sheet online. It covers movie data through 2018 and concludes:

An R-rating for movies with tobacco use can potentially reduce the the number of teen smokers by 18%, preventing up to 1 million premature smoking deaths among youth alive today.

 The CDC has updated its health surveillance of onscreen smoking yearly since 2013. View our archive of CDC fact sheets.

 CDC also links to the Smoking in Movies fact sheet from Leanord Nimoy's ("Mr. Spock") Tips from Former Smokers.

 Breathe California-UCSF reports provide much of the data for the CDC's updates. Download our latest full-length report

This item, prepared by Jonathan Polansky, is cross-posted from the Smokefree Movies blog

May 7, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Dorie Apollonio and I just published “Tobacco industry promotions and pricing after tax increases: An analysis of internal industry documents” in Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 

Public health advocates see price increases as a key strategy to reduce tobacco use.  As the title indicates, we studied the tobacco companies’ internal documents to see how they use price promotions and price changes to blunt the effects of tax increases.  Policymakers and advocates need to understand these industry strategies which range from wholesale price changes to buffer the effect of tax increases to shifting where people buy their cigarettes so that they can block these industry strategies to maximize the impact of hard-fought tax increases. 

Here is the abstract:

BACKGROUND:  Increasing tobacco taxes, and through them, prices, is an effective public health strategy to decrease tobacco use. The tobacco industry has developed multiple promotional strategies to undercut these effects; this study assessed promotions directed to wholesalers and retailers and manufacturer price changes that blunt the effects of tax and price increases.

May 6, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Mark Olfson and colleagues’ new paper E-cigarette Use Among Young Adults in the U.S. published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine adds to the  strong and consistent case the e-cigarettes are making the tobacco epidemic worse by maintaining cigarette smoking.  Far from “harm reduction,” they found that young adults who used e-cigarettes were more likely to be heavier smokers and a lot less likely to be former smokers (adjusted OR 0.14).  No wonder all the big cigarette companies are now taking over the e-cig business.  They help them sell cigarettes.

How many more years will it take the FDA and some evidence-impervious scientists to read the handwriting on the wall?

Here is the abstract:

Introduction. Use of e-cigarettes is increasing among young adults in the U.S. Whether e-cigarette use serves as an aid to smoking reduction or cessation among young adults remains a matter of contention. This analysis examines patterns of e-cigarette use in relation to cigarette smoking in a nationally representative sample of U.S. young adults.

May 3, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

They probably hope Congress will notice | The Motion Picture Association of America has added one of its rare “smoking” descriptors to a PG-rated Netflix documentary called Knock Down the House, about insurgent campaigns in the 2018 Congressional election.

Actually, the MPAA does more than note there's “smoking” in this movie — it's described as “brief smoking.” (Nothing to worry about there.)

Timing is everything | The MPAA announced its rating for Knock Down the House on April 17, 2019, in the MPAA's official rating bulletin.

That was just two days after Netflix and other entertainment companies received a strong letter from three US Senators, on April 15, asking the companies to report about smoking in their films and TV shows and how many kids watch it.