Tobacco Center Faculty 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.

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.