Retail marketing surveillance research highlights concerns about lower-priced cigarettes in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of racial/ethnic minorities, but focuses almost exclusively on premium brands. A recently published study (Nicotine & Tobacco Research, April 2017) examined neighborhood variation in prices for the cheapest cigarettes and a popular brand of cigarillos in a large statewide sample of licensed tobacco retailers in a low-tax state. A census of eligible licensed tobacco retailers in randomly selected zip codes (n=7,393 stores) was conducted in 2013. Two prices were requested: the cheapest cigarette pack regardless of brand and a single, flavored Swisher Sweets cigarillo.
As of April 2017, 90 California cities and counties had adopted smoke-free multi-unit housing (MUH) policies, protecting nonsmokers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. Healthy Air Vallejo, an initiative of Fighting Back Partnership coordinated through the Vallejo Community Change Coalition, is attempting to follow that trend by adopting a similar ordinance in Vallejo. Of Vallejo residents 18 years and older, 21.5% report suffering from asthma which is nearly double the state average yet there are no smoke-free apartment units in the city. Staff and committee members are actively educating community groups about the benefits of smoke-free housing and partnering with low-income apartment complexes to educate tenants and managers and gather public opinion data.
Substance use and mental health are strongly associated with smoking and poor cessation outcomes, but not often examined in combination with menthol cigarette smoking. A recent study identified classes of Black and White menthol and non-menthol cigarette smokers based on demographics, alcohol, drug, and other tobacco use behaviors. A sample of 1,177 menthol and non-menthol cigarette smokers was classified based on demographic characteristics, heavy smoking, alcohol and drug use, desire to quit smoking, other tobacco product use, and use of psychotropic medication.
Watch the video that features LOOP Director Dr. Valerie Yerger, LOOP Leadership Specialist Carol McGruder, Dr. Stanton Glantz, city and county officials, and more.
FROM THE BLOG OF STANTON GLANTZ, CENTER FOR TOBACCO CONTROL RESEARCH AND
EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO
On Monday April 17, 2017, Supervisor Malia Cohen introduced legislation to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, in the City and County of San Francisco. While several other cities have enacted restrictions on flavors (and some that included menthol), this is the first blanket prohibition.
Introduction of this important law builds directly on educational activities about how menthol is used to target African American and other communities led by my colleague Valerie Yerger, Carol McGruder, and Phil Gardiner. The educational activities have been and will continue to be a key elementof the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center’s SFCAN partnership with San Francisco to quickly reduce cancer in San Francisco. This is a great example of research translation from the ivory tower to the community.
The California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program (CDPH/CTCP) established the Carol M. Russell Leadership Award in 2001, in recognition of the leadership, vision, passion and commitment Carol brought during her 10 years with the California Tobacco Control Program.
On Thursday, April 27th, at the CTCP Project Directors’ Meeting, CTCP awarded this prestigious honor to our own LOOP Project Director, Dr. Valerie Yerger, for her decades of tireless work in tobacco control. Below are some of the excerpts from the nomination letters submitted for Valerie.
“Her research on menthol has been an instrumental part of reports to influence decisionmaking at the FDA and in countless communities interested in removing the unjustifiably last remaining allowable flavor of cigarettes- one that has been dangerously marketed to African-American, LGBT, and Asian/Pacific Islander communities for decades.”