Problems that led to UC strike have their roots in Schwarzenegger’s pressure to privatize UC

While I am best known for my work on tobacco, I also played an important role in budgetary matters at the University of California, including chairing the Systemwide Committee on Planning and Budget in 2005-6. At that time, we predicted the problems that would follow from UC President Bob Dynes’ accession to then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’sContinue reading “Problems that led to UC strike have their roots in Schwarzenegger’s pressure to privatize UC”

Calif voters overwhelmingly confirm ban on flavored tobacco products

After the California legislature and the governor signed a state law ending the sale of almost all flavored tobacco products including menthol, in 2020, the tobacco companies spent $22 million to force a voter referendum. That suspended the law for two years until the voters could weigh in. Now they have, crushing Big Tobacco withContinue reading “Calif voters overwhelmingly confirm ban on flavored tobacco products”

First epidemiological evidence linking e-cigs to cancer in people

E-cigarette advocates like to point out that because there is no combustion, e-cigarettes expose users to lower levels of many carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals).  Even so, there are still some carcinogens in e-cigarette aerosol exposure to e-cigarette aerosol damages DNA and reduces repair in animal and human cells and causes cancer in animals.  Now there isContinue reading “First epidemiological evidence linking e-cigs to cancer in people”

Here’s an approachable introduction to the growing collection of industry insider documents on opioids, free to all

Caleb Alexander, together with colleagues at Johns Hopkins, UCSF and I just published “The Opioid Industry Documents Archive: A Living Digital Repository” in American Journal of Public Health. This paper describes the growing Opioid Industry Documents Archive that is part of the UCSF Industry Documents Library and outlines opportunities for research and public education withContinue reading “Here’s an approachable introduction to the growing collection of industry insider documents on opioids, free to all”

Texas Trump judge puts off effective date for FDA graphic cigarette warning labels again, this time until Jul 8, 2023

Last February, the Texas federal judge hearing the tobacco companies’ lawsuit against the graphic warning labels Congress ordered the FDA to put on cigarettes in 2009 delayed the implementation date until April 2023, after several such delays, first in May 2020. By the way, the judge didn’t actually rule against the FDA, he just putContinue reading “Texas Trump judge puts off effective date for FDA graphic cigarette warning labels again, this time until Jul 8, 2023”

Direct evidence that flavor sales bans substantially reduce youth cigarette and e-cigarette use

Most of the research on the effects of local and state bans on the sales of flavored tobacco products have assessed sales rather than actual use by youth. (They consistently showed big drops in sales of flavored tobacco products.) Summer Hawkins and colleagues at Boston College published “Flavoured tobacco product restrictions in Massachusetts associated withContinue reading “Direct evidence that flavor sales bans substantially reduce youth cigarette and e-cigarette use”

Smokers do not “switch completely” to e-cigs; e-cigarettes cut quitting by 83% in smokers trying to quit

The evidence is rapidly accumulating that e-cigs are harm enhancing rather than harm reducing. Accepting for the sake of argument, even if one accepts claims that e-cigs are less toxic than conventional cigarettes, for e-cigs to be harm reducing smokers who use them need to stop cigarettes — what the tobacco companies and FDA callContinue reading “Smokers do not “switch completely” to e-cigs; e-cigarettes cut quitting by 83% in smokers trying to quit”

FDA bent over backwards to authorize sale of RJR’s Vuse Solo e-cig

On October 12, 2021, FDA authorized the sale of RJ Reynolds’ Vuse Solo e-cigarette. When I read the FDA’s Technical Project Lead summary of its scientific justification for authorizing the sale of RJ Reynolds’ Vuse Solo e-cigarette, I was struck by the fact that it ignored the broad scientific literature on e-cigarettes and seemed toContinue reading “FDA bent over backwards to authorize sale of RJR’s Vuse Solo e-cig”

FDA should ignore Philip Morris request to tell public nicotine doesn’t cause cancer

Earlier this month Bloomberg reported that Philip Morris had asked FDA to convince Americans that nicotine isn’t that bad, citing research showing that most wrongly think that nicotine causes cancer.  This effort seems part of Philip Morris effort to promote its IQOS heated tobacco product as well as Juul e-cigarettes (in which Altria, parent ofContinue reading “FDA should ignore Philip Morris request to tell public nicotine doesn’t cause cancer”

Altria moving toward entering US marijuana market

Altria (owner of Philip Morris) has made two moves to get ready to enter the US marijuana market. It registered to lobby on marijuana commercialization in Virginia and has submitted two US patents for cannabis vaporization devices. According to the report in Cannabis Wire, “Altria supports the federal legalization of cannabis under an appropriate regulatoryContinue reading “Altria moving toward entering US marijuana market”