Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

February 6, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Minimum Legal Sales Age laws for e-cigarettes associated with less or the same cigarette smoking among adolescents

Lauren Dutra, colleagues at the CDC, and I just published “Impact of E-Cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age Laws on Current Cigarette Smoking” in Journal of Adolescent Health that found that states with age requirements for e-cigarette purchases have the same or less adolescent cigarette smoking compared to states without these age requirements. The results of this study suggest that these minimum age of sale policies benefit youth.

We analyzed tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, from over 80,000 adolescents across the United States and found that the amount of adolescent cigarette smoking was less or the same in states with age requirements on e-cigarettes compared to states without these laws.

February 3, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Kelly Young-Wolff and colleagues’ new paper, “Documentation of e-cigarette use and associations with smoking from 2012 to 2015 in an integrated healthcare delivery system” provides further insight into the dynamic relationship between e-cigarette and cigarette use.  They collected information on e-cigarette and cigarette use for 7926 people aged 12 and older enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente HMO in Northern California in 2014 and compared that behavior to what products they were using a year later.  They found three distinct linked behaviors:

  • Cigarette smokers who used e-cigarettes at baseline were less likely to be smoking cigarettes a year later, i.e., e-cigarettes were helping people quit cigarettes


January 30, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

It is an article of faith at the FDA and among e-cigarette enthusiasts that nicotine is not carcinogenic and that e-cigarettes do not pose any substantial cancer risk because the levels of carcinogens in e-cigarette aerosol is much lower than in a conventional cigarette.

These beliefs are challenged by a recent paper, “E-cigarette smoke damages DNA and reduces repair

activity in mouse lung, heart, and bladder as well as in human lung and bladder cells,” by Hyun-Wook Lee and colleagues at NYU.  They exposed live mice to light levels of e-cigarette aerosol and found damage to the DNA in lung, heart and bladder cells as well as in human lung and bladder cells.  They found that the cells themselves converted nicotine to carcinogenic NNN and NNK even if it was not in the original e-cigarette aerosol.  They also found that exposure to nicotine and e-cigarette aerosol damaged normal DNA repair mechanisms.

Here is how they sum up the significance of their findings:

January 29, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Philip Morris International is promoting IQOS, its new “heat not burn” tobacco product, all over the world, including in Japan, as a healthier alternative to cigarettes.

A 2017 scientific paper tracked four years of Google searches for IQOS and other new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and heat-not-burn products from other tobacco companies.

When the popular Japanese variety show "Ame Talk" featured IQOS, Google searches for IQOs skyrocketed and stayed much higher than competing products.

This is just the latest example of the power of entertainment media to push tobacco products.

January 27, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Philip Morris claims that they only market IQOS to current smokers for “harm reduction” (ignoring the fact that their own evidence shows no reduction in harm in people who use them), but new data from Italy belies that claim.

In a new paper in Tobacco Control, Heat-not-burn tobacco products: concerns from the Italian experience,”  Xiaoqiu Liu and colleagues find that nearly half (45%) of IQOS users are never cigarette smokers and over half (51%) of people who are interested in IQOS are never smokers.

While this is bad news for public health, it is great news for Philip Morris.

Regulators around the world should take note.-

The full cite for the paper is     Liu X, Lugo A, Spizzichino L, et al.  Heat-not-burn tobacco products: concerns from the Italian experience.  Tobacco Control Published Online First: 26 January 2018. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2017-054054  and it is available here.