Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

June 14, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

The bulk of the press coverage on President Obama’s failure win endorsement of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Friday has concentrated on the strong unified opposition by organized labor and the general political fallout of his defeat.
There is no question that these issues are important.  There is a broad consensus outside the corporate interests that have been pushing the TPP (including with nearly $200 million in campaign contributions to House members) We have been following this issue closely and agree that the evidence strongly supports the proposition that the earlier trade agreements upon which the TPP is based have led to declining opportunities for American workers, wage stagnation, and increasing income inequality.
But that is not  the only thing wrong with the TPP.

June 8, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Amanda Fallin and I just published "Tobacco-control policies in tobacco-growing states: where tobacco was king" in Millbank Quarterly  that explains why, after years of lagging the rest of the country, progress on tobacco control is now taking place there.
Here is the abstract:
Policy Points: The tobacco companies prioritized blocking tobacco-control policies in tobacco-growing states and partnered with tobacco farmers to oppose tobacco-control policies. The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement, which settled state litigation against the cigarette companies, the 2004 tobacco-quota buyout, and the companies' increasing use of foreign tobacco led to a rift between the companies and tobacco farmers. In 2003, the first comprehensive smoke-free local law was passed in a major tobacco-growing state, and there has been steady progress in the region since then. Health advocates should educate the public and policymakers on the changing reality in tobacco-growing states, notably the major reduction in the volume of tobacco produced.

June 6, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

A great video sums up Obama word games about TPP in song:  Fast Track, Trade Agreements, and the TPP Razzle Dazzle

June 3, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

An important paper (Endothelial disruptive pro-inflammatory effects of nicotine and e-cigarette vapor exposures) has just been published in American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology that carefully dissects the effects on nicotine and e-cigarette aerosol (both with and without nicotine) on the cells that line the air sacks in the lung.  What the authors very carefully show is that nicotine, whether from cigarettes or e-cigarettes, causes a dose-dependent disruption of the functioning of these cells. 
The authors do a series of elegant experiments (with both isolated rat lung cells and whole rats) and drill right down to the cellular and molecular pathways through which nicotine damages lung cells in ways that lead to clinical disease.  This result is particularly important in light of the common rhetoric that comes out of many harm reduction advocates (and, occasionally, the FDA) that it is the smoke, not the nicotine, that is the problem with tobacco use.

May 22, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Mad Men’s Betty Hofstadt may be one of only four screen characters in more than a decade to suffer serious harm from smoking. The others were on the big screen: Constantine (Keanu Reeves) in Constantine, Tim Donohue (Donald Sumpter) in The Constant Gardener, and Otis Blake (Jeff Bridges) in Crazy Heart.   
Four thousand different characters have smoked in 1,100 top-grossing movies since 2002. If only three of these film characters were diagnosed with lung cancer or heart failure, that’s a (potential) on-screen mortality rate of 0.07 percent (less than one-tenth of one percent). This starkly contrasts with the 50 percent tobacco death rate for adult smokers sitting in the audience. 
Still, were those occasional, tobacco-induced diagnoses an object-lesson for adolescents, the group most prone to start smoking? No, for a simple reason — all three movies we mentioned were R-rated. Kids were actually restricted from seeing them.
In fact, in 600-plus youth-rated smoking films released since 2002 (55% of all smoking films) — with more than 1,900 smoking characters (48% of all smoking characters) — the catastrophic health consequences of tobacco use were invisible.