Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 1, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

After disappearing from the screen in 2018, e-cigarettes are back — with a vengeance — in the 2019 PG-13 film After. Breathe California reports that four college-age characters use e-cigs fourteen times in this story of “self-discovery and sexual awakening" (Deadline).

The actors involved are:

  • Pia Mia (22)
  • Inanna Sarkis (25)
  • Samual Larsen (27)
  • Khadijha Red Thunder (24)

The MPAA has rated After "PG-13 for sexual content and some college partying." Since e-cigs debuted on screen in 2010, more than three quarters of films with e-cigs have been R-rated.

Early in's synopsis of After, a college freshman's mother complains that the room where her roommate vapes "reeks of weed." Ordinarily, drug use earns a movie an R-rating from the MPAA, while more than half of films with tobacco use are youth-rated.

April 29, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

CNBC reported that PMI is starting a life insurance company in the UK that will give discounts to smokers who switch to e-cigarettes (2.5% discount) or its heated tobacco product IQOS (25% discount).  Smokers who quit entirely get 50% off.

It will be interesting so see how long this lasts, since it is fundamentally unsound financially.  PMI’s own data shows that IQOS is no safer than conventional cigarettes in terms of clinical measures of effect (even though it lowers exposure to some toxins, while increasing exposure to others).  (More blog posts on IQOS.) Another think that does not make financial sense is treating IQOS as less toxic than e-cigs.  Independent research shows that IQOS delivers more toxins than e-cigs.

The fact that the e-cig discount is so small is certainly consistent with the growing evidence that e-cig risk is approaching that of conventional cigarettes. 

April 24, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research is soliciting papers to support e-cigarettes for harm reduction as the ethical thing to do.    

The call (reproduced below) frames the question the need to address the fact that “The tobacco control field has become deeply divided over the question of how to respond to the advent of e-cigarettes, vaporizers and other non-combustible nicotine products.”  They also say that “Papers are intended to be illuminating to the current discussions around harm reduction and may contribute to some extent to a re-unification of the field, or at least to further clarification of the current disagreements and of what would be required for moving towards consensus or compromise.”  But, far from offering a neutrally worded call to debate the issues around e-cigarettes, it accepts, without question, the assertions that e-cigarettes are beneficial, at least for adults, and hedges on the overwhelming evidence of harm to youth.

April 24, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The law firm Churchwell White LLP filed suit April 4, 2019 on behalf of 25 California jurisdictions challenging   the California Bureau of Cannabis Control's regulation provision, adopted in December 2018, forcing local jurisdictions to allow delivery of cannabis in their communities. The Public Health Institute and other organizations protested this change as violating the letter and spirit of Proposition 64, which legalized adult-use cannabis and the implementing legislation (MAUCRSA), both of which assured local control.  They are seeking additional jurisdictions to join the suit.

These state regulations undermine the autonomy not only of communities with bans in place, but also communities that rightly adopted public health oriented restrictions on products that appeal to youth like cannabis orange soda or mango flavored vaping fluid, whose residents will no longer be protected, or who have stores but opted to not allow delivery, or who limited the number of outlets intentionally, or who taxed high potency products at a higher rates, for example.