You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Stanton Glantz’ tag.

As those who have watched Tobacco Control have predicted, Food Control is next.

Stanton Glantz, one of the leaders of the Tobacco Control movement, is now moving into Food Control. In October 2011, this article appeared in Tobacco News (emphases mine):

The public health battle against obesity may be taking a cue from the states’ victory against the tobacco industry more than a decade ago.

The more you look at the modern food industry, the more it looks like the tobacco industry,” Stanton Glantz, PhD, director of the University of California San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education …

Attempts to sue the food companies haven’t been successful so far, but “there are definitely people thinking about it,” noted Glantz, a key anti-tobacco advocate and researcher who helped publish tobacco industry insider documents in 1995.

Other strategies adapted from the anti-tobacco playbook have had greater success, such as menu labeling, he points out.

But if the tobacco fight is any guide, Glantz warned, working to improve the food landscape is going to take sustained and aggressive action.

You have been warned. And it will happen.

There’s a real pathology at work here.

This isn’t just about snacks, but animal proteins and fats — including dairy — which are necessary for our health.

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For those who are new to the inside track of Tobacco Control, Dr Stanton Glantz has been an important figure in the fight against smoking.

A Democrat from San Francisco, Glantz is on the Faculty of the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) where he is the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control. A nice title if you can get it! (I have deliberately highlighted a word at the beginning of this paragraph.)

Great titles aside, this is a summary of his CV from the same page:

University of Cincinnati, OH, BS, 1969, Aerospace Engineering
Stanford University, CA, MS, 1970, Applied Mechanics
Stanford University, CA, PhD, 1973, Applied Mechanics and Engineering Economic Systems
Stanford University, CA, Postdoc, 1975, Cardiology
University of California San Francisco, CA, Postdoc, 1977, Cardiovascular Research

It is unclear what Engineering Economic Systems refers to. Is it that he has the competence to design — engineer — economic systems or is it a recognition that he understands economic systems within the field of engineering?

However, there is a larger question here: did you see anything unusual about Glantz’s degrees?

In an objection to an Ottawa regional smoking by-law, the smoking liberties group Forces Canada observed (emphases mine):

In investigating this man, we obtained his Curriculum Vitae and were astounded to learn that Dr. Stanton Glantz is not a medical doctor, but has his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. Dr. Glantz was also one of the authors of the EPA Report, as well as authoring a paper entitled, “Tourism and Hotel Revenues Before and After Passage of Smoke Free Restaurant Ordinances, 1999”, as well as numerous other papers on economic issues relating to no-smoking by-laws about which he can make no claim to professional competence – he does not have an economic[s] degree. However, Dr. Glantz has been an anti-smoking advocate since the 1960’s and clearly is NOT a medical doctor.

Glantz engineered the now-infamous Helena (Montana) ‘Miracle’ study which purported that cardiovascular arrest rates dropped significantly within a short time of a smoking ban having been implemented. These results have been extrapolated onto several other countries’ ‘successful’ results post-ban.

His UCSF bio states:

He has written several books, including the widely used Primer of Biostatistics (which has been translated into Japanese, French, Russian, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, and Primer of Applied Regression and Analysis of Variance).

Did he write that book before or after the Helena report?  There was a time when Glantz was scrupulous about conducting studies and obtaining objective results.

This is what Glantz works on:

Health Effects of Secondhand Smoke:

… This project focuses on the short-term effects on the heart, blood and blood vessels. Even a few minutes’ worth of exposure is dangerous …

Smoking in the Movies:

Exposure to onscreen smoking in movies is the largest single factor promoting youth smoking in the United States, accounting for about 44% of all new smokers. 

Analysis of Tobacco Industry Documents:

To understand the tobacco industry, we have a written record of its research and decision making process in the form of over 62 million pages of previously secret tobacco industry documents now available at the UCSF Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. This research uses this unique resource to understand how the tobacco industry works to shape the environment, and what public health authorities and advocates can do to anticipate and counter the tobacco industry’s adaptive strategies (legal, political, scientific, propagandistic) to frustrate and subvert smoking prevention and cessation programs.

How does he arrive at 44% of new smokers starting once they see cigarettes in films?

How much in taxpayers’ money — and again in tobacco tax — has this man and his team siphoned from the State of California?

There was a time — back in 1994 — when Glantz felt a frisson as he feared for his funding.  What follows is part of his acceptance speech upon winning the American Cancer Society’s 2009 Luther Terry Distinguished Career Award in Mumbai:

First, and most importantly, I want to thank the American Cancer Society for the great honor or receiving the Luther Terry Distinguished Career Award. Most would say this is the highest honor that one can receive in the field of tobacco control. But, for me, this is actually the second highest honor I have received from the American Cancer Society. The greatest honor was 15 years ago, in 1994, and I have never had the opportunity to publicly thank the American Cancer Society and John Seffrin in particular. In 1994, shortly after the Republicans took control of the US Congress, Congressman John Porter, the chair of the budget subcommittee that controlled the National Cancer Institute, quietly added language to the bill directing NCI the terminate my research funding. Of course, they did not mention me by name and we only found out about this language by dumb luck: One of my students’ sister [sic] was interning with another member of the committee and found language in the bill saying something like, “no funds appropriated under this bill shall be used to fund dumpy professors in San Francisco working on tobacco.” This was very scary. Despite this threat to the grant, I was a tenured professor at the University of California and I was personally safe. The same was not true, however, for my fellows and researchers – some of whom are here – who were paid by the grant. They were very concerned about losing their jobs and asked me if they should be looking elsewhere. Loosing [sic] this talented team would have been a disaster, even if the grant was eventually saved, so I went to several agencies and asked for a quiet “insurance policy” in the form of a commitment for one year of funding if we lost the battle in Congress so that I could tell my staff to just keep working

And I have to say that some people declined help. I was too controversial. The Republicans had just taken control of Congress and no one knew what to expect. Tobacco was not the only issue they were working on and did not want to jeapordize important relationships. The American Cancer Society was different. They gave me that insurance policy so that I could tell my staff to just keep working. But, the ACS, led by John Seffrin did much more than that. John and ACS joined the effort to pressure Congressman Porter to remove the language from the bill. This was a controversial position inside ACS. Porter was a strong supporter of cancer research and there were those who did not want to risk funding for molecular biology and clinical trials to support some crazy tobacco researcher. And worst of all, I had from time to time actually criticized and challenged the ACS … we succeeded – and there is no question that saving that grant is what allowed me to do much of the work that led to this award today. Second, I have been struck by the number of people who have expressed surprise that ACS gave me this award. As just noted, I have, on occasion, challenged the American Cancer Society in ways that could not? have been comfortable for them.  At the 12th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Helsinki, Finland, the ACS fought hard to bring the 13th World Conference to Washington, DC, which, at the time was not a smoke free city.  I was the closing speaker at the Helsinki meeting and I challenged ACS to make sure that Washington was smokefree by the time of the meeting. To show that I was serious, I announced that I would not be attending the meeting unless the city was smokefree … John Seffrin knew I was right and under his leadership, ACS joined with other advocates and, by the time the 13th World Conference opened, Washington was a smokefree city. This effort was not easy, but everyone pulled together and prevailed. Which brings me to my third point, the currently pending legislation to grant the US Food and Drug Administration jurisdiction over tobacco products. While I agree with everyone else that the FDA should have jurisdiction over tobacco, I was never a fan of this bill because it was a deal with Philip Morris and I figured no deal with Philip Morris would be a?good thing for public health in the long run. My opposition has been, until recently, subdued for two reasons. First, while I was not enthused about the bill, I figured that the damage it did would be limited to issues of product regulation, something that I have not seen as central to tobacco control. Second, Matt Myers has been an important and helpful supporter of my Smoke Free Movies campaign and, in addition to signing some of the advocacy advertisements, has played an important behind-the-scenes role in heading off some serious challenges to the campaign. I did not want to anger them over the FDA … I re-read two important papers my UCSF colleagues Patricia McDaniel and Ruth Malone that used the tobacco industry documents to explain Philip Morris’ Project Sunrise and specific reasons for wanting the FDA bill, the provisions they wanted, and, most important, how this would help them sell more cigarettes. We don’t have to speculate on these points; it is all there in Philip Morris own words. … Fourth, a few weeks ago, Dick Daynard, a lawyer who has been very active in efforts to support the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, pointed out to me that the FDA bill violated Article 5.3, which is designed to prevent government “partnerships” with the tobacco industry.  The FDA bill creates a Scientific Advisory Committee that is central to the regulator process and which is required to have two tobacco industry representatives. They are nonvoting, but they are there. Not only does this violate Article 5.3, but is makes no sense. If the Department of Justice was forming a committee to develop policy on racketeering, would it want a law requiring nonvoting members who were racketeers? I think not. For these reasons, I think that the damage that this bill will do extends far beyond the narrow confines of product regulation and could do great damage to tobacco control, not only in the United States, but globally. It could easily become the precedent for undermining Article 5.3 in the 163 countries that have ratified the FCTC. Is it possible to fix this bill? Yes.  We have a new president who has already demonstrated that he is  committed to putting science above politics and who has direct personal  experience with nicotine addiction. If we are willing to speak with a clear voice on the need for an unambiguously public health-oriented bill that is not a compromise with the industry, I believe Obama and the new Congressional leadership will listen. But they can’t give us what we want if we don’t ask. Fixing this bill will not be easy, but, based on my experience with ACS taking strong, principled positions in the past and doing the hard work it takes to win, I am confident that we can. So, I have challenge for the ACS and every American in the room: Fix this bill Take a clear position that you will not support any legislation that is not consistent with the FCTC.  Thank you again for your recognition and support.”

How nice to know that Glantz quietly kept his people on the public payroll out of concern for them.

It would if he gave the smokers of greater San Francisco the same consideration. Many must smoke in secret. Many cannot get jobs because they smoke a legal product — tobacco. Many risk being physically or verbally assaulted by strangers in the street.

Now, if they were cannabis smokers, that would be a different story.

Strange, that.

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