February 5, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

No new tobacco industry grants at the University of California since 2007

On September 20, 2007, after a multi-year debate the UC Regents adopted a compromise policy on acceptance of money for research from the tobacco industry.  While then-President Robert Dynes, with the support of the Academic Senate, defeated the proposal by then-Chairman of the Board of Regents Richard Blum to establish a policy of not accepting tobacco industry funding, the Regents did adopt a policy (known as RE-89) that recognized that money from the tobacco industry was problematic and required that any new proposals to the tobacco industry undergo additional internal peer review and that the campus chancellor personally approve any such proposal.  It also required that the President make an annual report to the Regents on any new tobacco industry grants.

According to UC President Yudof's most recent report, since then there has not been a single new tobacco industry grant within the entire University of California.

There are only two remaining grants (that date from before RE-89), totaling $2.9 million, both from Philip Morris USA:

  • A Novel Nonselenocystenic Phospholipid Glutathione Peroxidase Mediating Oxidative Stress Serves as a Prognostic Biomarker for Breast Cancer ($833,471 at UC Irvine, end date unknown)
  • UCLA Adolescent Smoking Cessation Center ($2 million at UCLA, ends 12/30/12)

UC President Yudof's report to the Regents notes, "The reporting requiremen't is to be kept in place for at least five years, after which the President is to consult with The Regents to evaluate whether the reporting requirement should be continued."  That five years will be up later this year, in September, 2012. 

We need to begin efforts to see that this requirement is made permanent or converted to a decision not to accept tobacco money, as many other universities around the world have done.


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