Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 21, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

California Senator Jerry Hill, a public health advocate, has sponsored a state law, SB 38, modeled on San Francisco’s comprehensive ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products. 

The tobacco industry has been fighting this bill tooth and nail.  Along the way, two bad amendments got attached, one exempting flavored hookah and another strange one that said:

“Tobacco product” means a product that meets both of the following requirements: The product either does not have a patent issued prior to January 1, 2000, or is a menthol flavored product.”

The patent language has the kind of specificity that only a lobbyist with a lot of specialized knowledge could push.  That leaves the question open as to who had the muscle to get such an exemption.

While I don’t know the origin of the amendment, I do know that Philip Morris had developed a functioning e-cigarette by 1996 and patented the “capillary aerosol generator” technology.

Philip Morris also has several pre-2000 patents on the technology for its heated tobacco product IQOS, which is kind of like an e-cigarette that uses a solid tobacco plug instead of a liquid.

May 21, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

My colleagues and I just submitted this comment to Health Canada on e-cigarettes.  A PDF is here.


Manager, Regulations Division

Tobacco Products Regulatory Office

Tobacco Control Directorate

Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch

Health Canada

Address Locator: 0301A

150 Tunney’s Pasture Driveway

Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9

[email protected]



Consultation on Potential Regulatory Measures to Reduce Youth Access and Appeal of Vaping Products: Evidence and Recommendations from the U.S. Experience


Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD;1,2 Lauren Kass Lempert, JD, MPH;1 Minji Kim, PhD.;1

Lucy Popova, PhD.;3 Shannon Lea Watkins, PhD.;1 Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, PhD.;1

Karma McKelvey, PhD, MPH;2 Julia Mcquoid, PhD.;1 Emily Keamy-Minor, BA;4 Matthew Springer, PhD.;1 Pamela Ling, MD, MPH;1 Stanton Glantz, PhD1  


May 18, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Yogi Hendlin, Pam Ling, and their colleagues here at UCSF just published “Financial Conflicts of Interest and Stance on Tobacco Harm Reduction: A Systematic Review” in American Journal of Public Health.  The collected everything published between 1992 and 2016 that talked about tobacco harm reduction in English in peer reviewed journals.

They found 826 articles.  While 49% endorsed tobacco harm reduction, most of these did not actually report original data, but rather were letters, commentaries, and reviews.  These articles are general not subject to the same level of rigorous review as publications reporting original data. 

Citations to these papers can be misleading, because the citations look the same as empirical studies published in the same journal.  Tobacco companies (and other corporations) take advantage of this fact when citing these publications in regulatory, political, and legal filings.

Industry support was strongly predictive of a pro-harm reduction position.

Leaving out the publications that were not obviously industry funded, 49% opposed tobacco harm reduction compared to 41% supporting. 

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.