Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

April 16, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

There are a lot of  reasons to expect that smoking would make COVID-19 worse.  Kade Patanavanich and have completed a meta-analysis of 12 papers that present evidence on disease progression among people who have been diagnosed with COVID, 10 from China, 1 from Korea, and 1 from the USA.  We found that the odds of disease progression were more than doubled.

These papers all have limitations, most notably the fact that they are almost certainly missing a lot of smokers in their patient histories. This limitation will lead to the risk being underestimated.

The paper reporting these results is now under peer review.  Consistent with the urgency of the situation and the general policies of a growing number of journals that pre-prints of papers be made available during the peer review process, we have posted our manuscript to the medRxiv preprint server here.

Here is the abstract:

Objective: To determine the association between smoking and progression of COVID-19. Design: A meta-analysis of 12 published papers.

April 15, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD


What is Hollywood Hiding? How the entertainment industry downplays the danger to kids from smoking on screen

April 10, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Working with colleagues at HRIDAY (Health Related Information Dissemination Amongst Youth) in New Delhi, and WHO, we just published “Tobacco imagery in on-demand streaming content popular among adolescents and young adults in India: implications for global tobacco control” in Tobacco Control.

Here is the press release BMJ sent out about the paper:

Streaming services flouting India’s regulations banning tobacco imagery in all media

Stronger enforcement needed, while WHO guidelines should be updated, say researchers

Streaming services that are popular with teens and young people in India are flouting the nation’s regulations on exposure to tobacco imagery in any media platform, reveals an analysis of 10 on-demand streaming series, published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

April 5, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

UCSF has added smoking and vaping bothe nicotine and cannabis to its screening and triage protocol for COVID-19 to help assess risks.

The question in the protocol is:

18. Do you currently smoke or vape?

a. (Yes) Which of the following do you regularly do? (select all that apply)

i. Smoke cigarettes

ii. Vape nicotine (e-cigarettes)

iii. Smoke marijuana

iv. Vape marijuana


People who use any of these products are put into a higher risk category.  The full triage protocol is here.

Not only will this addition lead to better screening of potential patients, but it will provide important information for assessing specific risks when coupled with outcome data later on.

As noted on the triage protocol, it is available for non-commercial use.


March 31, 2020

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

In the middle of the COVID-19 oubreak with research -- much of it funded by the FDA through NIH -- consistently indicating that e-cigarettes depress lung's ability to fight off infection, the FDA has now petitioned the court to push the May 12, 2020 deadline for e-cigarette companies to submit their applications for approval of e-cigarettes back 4 months to September 9, 2020.

This is an outrageous misplacement of priorities.  I am please that the health groups who secured the court order forcing the FDA to start processing e-cigarette applications are in court opposing this dangerous change.

PS: Even with no change in the court ruling, companies that get applications in by May 20, 2020 will still be able to keep selling their products for a year while FDA considers the applications.

My blog post on quitting smoking and vaping as a way to reduce COVID risk is here.  I update it regularly.