What we can and cannot say about the immediate effect of SF’s flavored tobacco product ban

On May 24, 2021 Abigail Friedman published “A Difference-in-Differences Analysis of Youth Smoking and a Ban on Sales of Flavored Tobacco Products in San Francisco, California” in JAMA Pediatrics that concluded that “San Francisco’s ban on flavored tobacco product sales was associated with increased smoking among minor high school students relative to other school districts.”Continue reading “What we can and cannot say about the immediate effect of SF’s flavored tobacco product ban”

Can you believe the papers in the AJHB issue Juul financed?

When I wrote “Surprise! Juul publishes a paper concluding that e-cigs save lives” criticizing a paper in American Journal of Health Behavior for being based on questionable risk estimates, my first draft said I was surprised that the paper got past independent peer reviewers. But then I realized that all but one of the 13 papersContinue reading “Can you believe the papers in the AJHB issue Juul financed?”

Smokefree Movies is now Smokefree Media

Recognizing the growing importance of streaming and other video platforms, the Smokefree Movies campaign I started in 2001 has been expanded to Smokefree Media, including a new website. The new site contains all the information from the old Smokefree Movies site, but the searchable film database has been expanded to add streaming video programs popularContinue reading “Smokefree Movies is now Smokefree Media”

CDC’s new mask guidance and why FDA CTP should not assume e-cigs help smokers quit in the real world

On May 13, 2021 the CDC lifted most restrictions on the use of masks for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (two weeks after the second shot for Pfizer or Moderna and 1 week after J&J). While some people thought this was a political decision, CDC Director Walensky explained in detail that real world experience showedContinue reading “CDC’s new mask guidance and why FDA CTP should not assume e-cigs help smokers quit in the real world”

More truth about the opioid industry: Document collection continues to grow

HBO’s excellent new documentary The Crime of the Century about how the pharmaceutical industry created the opioid epidemic while largely avoiding responsibility makes the point that pharma has avoided the truth by paying nominal (for them) settlements. The lawyers never forced internal industry documents obtained in discovery out into the open. That situation has changedContinue reading “More truth about the opioid industry: Document collection continues to grow”

Ecigs double risk of relapse among former smokers

Most of the discussion of the effects of e-cigarette use on smoking has focused on their gateway effect among youth (they are) and whether e-cigs help smokers quit (as consumer products they do not) . There has been much less attention to how e-cigarettes affect the risk of relapse among former smokers. But now thereContinue reading “Ecigs double risk of relapse among former smokers”

Federal court adding RICO claims to lawsuits against Juul opens up opportunity to inform the public and FDA

On April 13, 2021, federal judge William H. Orrick granted plaintiffs’ motion to add allegations that Altria (owner of Philip Morris and part of Juul) and the Founder and Director Defendants violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Specifically, Judge Orrick allowed allegations that the “company and those persons allegedly conducted actsContinue reading “Federal court adding RICO claims to lawsuits against Juul opens up opportunity to inform the public and FDA”

The ACLU has a long history of taking money from and supporting the tobacco industry

I was not surprised when the American Civil Liberties Union came out against the FDA’s plan to end menthol cigarettes, repeating baseless industry arguments that getting rid of menthol would lead to more police violence against African Americans. Why? Because the ACLU has been carrying the tobacco industry’s water for decades. The ACLU has opposedContinue reading “The ACLU has a long history of taking money from and supporting the tobacco industry”

Is FDA going to ban menthol as a “characterizing flavor” or an ingredient? It matters

Today the FDA, with important support from the Biden Administration, announced that it would be moving to ban menthol as a “characterizing flavor” in cigarettes. In so doing, the FDA acted as requested in a Citizen’s Petition submitted by the Public Health Law Center in 2013. This is an important step forward. Today’s FDA letterContinue reading “Is FDA going to ban menthol as a “characterizing flavor” or an ingredient? It matters”

How to assess Biden’s actions on menthol

The FDA as to respond to the lawsuit brought by the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council and Action on Smoking and Health demanding a ban on menthol in cigarettes by April 29, 2021, the day after tomorrow. What the FDA is allowed to do will give a strong indication about how serious the BidenContinue reading “How to assess Biden’s actions on menthol”