RESEARCH INTERESTS: Dr. Glantz, the Truth Initiative Distinguished Professor of Tobacco Control, conducts research on a wide range of topics ranging from the health effects of e-cigarettes and secondhand smoke (with particular emphasis on the cardiovascular system) to the efficacy of different tobacco control policies. As the tobacco landscape has changed, Dr. Glantz’ work has expanded to include cannabis policy, because of the interactions between tobacco and cannabis.
Dr. Glantz conducts research on a wide range of issues ranging from the effects of e-cigarettes and secondhand smoke on the heart through the reductions in heart attacks observed when smokefree policies are enacted, to how the tobacco industry fights tobacco control programs. His research on the effects of secondhand smoke on blood and blood vessels has helped explain why, in terms of heart disease, the effects of secondhand smoke are nearly as large as smoking. Consistent with what would be expected from the biology of secondhand smoke, he demonstrated a large and rapid reduction in the number of people admitted to the hospital with heart attacks in Helena, Montana, after that community made all workplaces and public places smokefree. His work in this area was identified as one of the “top research advances for 2005″ by the American Heart Association. He was one of the first people to argue that controlling youth access to tobacco products was not an effective tobacco control strategy and to identify the importance of young adults (not just teens) as targets for the tobacco industry and efforts at smoking cessation and tobacco use prevention.
He is a globally recognized expert on e-cigarettes and is applying his understanding of the tobacco industry to the emerging marijuana industry as well as the sugar industry.
Dr. Glantz is Principal Investigator for the $40 million 10 year Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) that was first funded in September 2013 and renewed for another 5 years in 2018 as part of a first-of-its-kind tobacco science regulatory program by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health. The TCORS takes a broad interdisciplinary approach to understanding new tobacco products by integrating pulmonary, cardiovascular, pharmacology, behavioral and economic research to understand the effects of new products and inform tobacco product regulation.
He is author or coauthor of numerous publications on tobacco control, including secondhand smoke, e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products as well as cannabis policy. He has also contributed to research on how the sugar industry has worked to shape the scientific understanding of the effects of sugar consumption.
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). In total, he is the author of 5 books and over 400 scientific papers, including the first major review (published in Circulation) which identified involuntary smoking as a cause of heart disease and the landmark July 19, 1995 issue of JAMA on the Brown and Williamson documents, which showed that the tobacco industry knew nicotine was addictive and that smoking caused cancer 40 years ago. This publication was followed up with his book, The Cigarette Papers, which has played a key role in the ongoing litigation surrounding the tobacco industry. His book Tobacco Wars: Inside the California Battles chronicles the last quarter century of battles against the tobacco industry in California. He also wrote Tobacco: Biology and Politics for high school students and The Uninvited Guest, a story about secondhand smoke, for second graders, and Bad Acts, which tells the inside story of the US Department of Justices’ massive racketeering lawsuit against the tobacco industry. He ran the successful TobaccoScam project that helped break the historic alliance between the tobacco and hospitality industries. He is now running an educational project, SmokeFreeMovies.ucsf.edu, which is working to end use of movies to promote tobacco.
Working with the UCSF Library, he has taken the lead in making over 90 million pages of previously secret tobacco industry documents available to the entire world via the internet through the UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Library. More recently, he has worked with the Library and other colleagues to expand collections on the food (sugar), chemical, fossil fuel and pharma industries. This effort has help create a whole new area of scientific investigation based on tobacco industry documents.
Dr. Glantz is Director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, Co-Leader of the Helen Diller Familiy Comprehensive Cancer Center Tobacco Program and a member of the Cardiovascular Research Institute and Philip R. Lee Instiute for Heatlh Policy Studies.
He served for 10 years as an Associate Editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and is an academic editor for PLOS One. He has been a member of the California State Scientific Review Panel on Toxic Air Contaminants since 1986. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine) in 2005.
He has traveled widely and lectured on scientific and policy issues related to e-cigarettes, clean indoor air, smoking in the movies, and effective tobacco and cannabis control strategies. His work has attracted considerable attention from the tobacco industry, which has sued the University of California (unsuccessfully) twice in an effort to stop Prof. Glantz’ work.