Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 12, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Lorillard Tobacco's Jonathan Heck is one of the industry's leading experts on menthol, was appointed by the FDA to serve on it's Tobacco Products Scientific Committee, and is a primary author of the industry's submission to the FDA that argues that menthol is harmless.
Daniel Stevens and I just published a short paper in Tobacco Control's Industry Watch section pointing out that Heck used his employees to help him answer questions on his recertification exam as a toxicologist.  The official at the American Board of Toxicology who later said this was ok, Wallace Hayes, was a vice president at RJ Reynolds.
The FDA needs to do a better job of investigating the ethics of the people it puts on TPSAC.  It (and the courts) also has to consider such ethical breaches when deciding how much credence to give industry submissions in regulatory (and judicial) proceedings.
You can read the paper here.

May 9, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

This week a new comedy staring James Marsden and Jack Black opened.  The review of the movie in the San Francisco Chronicle  included a still from the movie clearly showing Marsden smoking a cigarette (top photo) but the ads for the movie and its official website show the same image (albiet with some photoshopping of the background and Black's jacket) of the two actors (bottom photo), this time with a toothpick in Marsden's mouth.
What's going on?


May 6, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Several people have emailed me asking what I think about the summary of Mitch Zeller's comments at the SFATA conference published by Wells Fargo analyst Bonnie Herzog on May 5, 2015:

May 5, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Our next Smokefree Movies ad that is running May 6 in The Hollywood Reporter and May 12 in Variety lists some of the most bankable names in Hollywood, along with prominent producers and directors, who are responsible for the most smoking in movies.
You can see the ad on the new Smokefree Movies web site here.
Go to to run these rankings by Hollywood role, time-period and film rating. The database includes every top-grossing film released 2002-now, and thousands of names of people and the companies involved. The names are captured directly from the Who’s Accountable displays on the SFM web site that are updated every week based on new movie data collected by our partners at Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!
The numbers in the ad are important. They show that kid-rated movies with smoking released after the US film industry was briefed about the harm they do, in 2003, have recruited three million kids to smoke, of whom a million will eventually die from tobacco-induced diseases.

April 30, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

It has been a year, after years of delay and meddling by the White House Office of Management and Budget, since the FDA released its proposed deeming rule on e-cigarettes and other tobacco products and we are still waiting for the final rule.  In the meantime out-of-control marketing by the cigarette and e-cigarette companies has led to exploding e-cigarette use, especially among kids.
Even when  the rule is finally issued, if it resembles the proposed rule,  it will have little practical effect because it does nothing to reign in use of flavors in e-cigarettes or other tobacco products, internet sales of e-cigarettes (something the FDA wanted to do and that the While House took out), or e-cigarette marketing.  The Administration could, I suppose, act on public comments that the public health community and attorneys general submitted calling on the FDA to close these loopholes in the final rule but, given that the White House has blocked eliminating menthol from cigarettes for years despite strong evidence (including from the FDA’s own analysis) that doing so would protect public health, I am not holding my breath.
Like everything else in tobacco, the progress on e-cigarettes is being made at the state and local levels.  I just hope that the final FDA rule does not do anything to make that process more difficult.