December 13, 2010

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Taxpayer subsidies for movies that promote smoking

We have been raising the point that the states, in the aggregate, now spend more money promoting smoking to adolescents by subsidizing movies with smoking in them than they spend on their state tobacco control programs fighting smoking. Now, influential Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Morain has taken up the issue in a December 11, 2010 column, "You get red ink with that popcorn," making the point that at a time that California California faces a deficit of $25 billion, maybe more and Speaker John A. Pérez is urging tax increases, lest welfare moms trying to find jobs lose state-funded child care and public school class sizes rise, the taxpayers are spending hundreds of millions of dollars subsidizing profitable movies made by huge media companies. Morain gives a nod to the movie issue when hes says, "The tax credit is odd in other ways. UC San Francisco medical school professor Stanton Glantz, a leader in the anti-smoking movement, notes that the state spends $78 million a year to curb smoking but gives subsidies to movies that glamorize smoking."

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