“Move Fast and Vape Things” is worth watching

The New York Times just released its new one hour documentary on the origins of Juul, Move Fast and Vape Things. (You can watch a trailer and some clips from the film and link to Hulu, where the full film is available, here.) The film includes interviews with an addicted teen, the two men whoContinue reading ““Move Fast and Vape Things” is worth watching”

British American Tobacco (BAT) Conducted Extensive and Potentially Illegal Activity To Undermine Health Policy, Sabotage Competitors And Secure Profits In Africa

Researchers led by Anna Gilmore at the University of Bath just published three jaw-dropping reports on British American Tobacco’s (BAT) allegedly illegal activities in Africa to undermine competitors through surveillance, bribes and dirty tricks. (They also contributed 273 new documents to the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library they used in this work, so theContinue reading “British American Tobacco (BAT) Conducted Extensive and Potentially Illegal Activity To Undermine Health Policy, Sabotage Competitors And Secure Profits In Africa”

Tobacco documents: The end of the beginning

When I got the first box of around 4000 pages of secret tobacco industry documents on May 12, 1994, I thought they would have an impact, but didn’t have a clue as to how big that impact would be. Being able to look inside the tobacco companies to appreciate — in their own words —Continue reading “Tobacco documents: The end of the beginning”

New WHO report highlights falling cigarette use and challenges that new tobacco products pose to public health and implementation of the FCTC

On July 27, 2021 the WHO released the WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2021: addressing new and emerging products, its eighth such report. The good news is that it documents solid progress in reducing tobacco use. After over a century of growth, “between 2007 and 2019, smoking rates decreased from a global averageContinue reading “New WHO report highlights falling cigarette use and challenges that new tobacco products pose to public health and implementation of the FCTC”

How industry documents are made public matters: UCSF Library recommendations

An important aspect of the North Carolina Juul legal settlement as well as several of the opioid settlements have been provisions making the discovery documents public. As the tobacco experience richly demonstrates, these documents can educate the public, the media and policymakers and lead to positive change. An important technical detail is how the documentsContinue reading “How industry documents are made public matters: UCSF Library recommendations”

NC Juul settlement: It’s a start

On June 28, 2021, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced the first settlement of a state lawsuit against Juul for its marketing to youth “to hold JUUL accountable for its instrumental role in sparking the epidemic of youth vaping and its resulting nicotine addiction.”  While the settlement represents a first step, a close readingContinue reading “NC Juul settlement: It’s a start”

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?”

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”

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”