“I have finally retired from UCSF, ready to move to the next phase. I will also be continuing to work with my UCSF colleagues to complete work that is under way. From talking to colleagues who have already retired, I am confident that there will be more ways that I can keep contributing to fighting the tobacco industry and promoting public health,” wrote Glantz in an email to his colleagues, as quoted earlier this week by Jim McDonald on Vaping360.
A tweet about the surprise resignation by Gregory Conley from the American Vape Association, pointed out that this move came only six months after his infamous paper linking vaping to heart attacks was retracted. “Six months after a paper he wrote falsely linking vaping to heart attacks was retracted by its publishing journal, it appears that Stanton Glantz has retired from UCSF,” he tweeted.
Flawed and biased studies
The article by McDonald, pointed out that last January Glantz stepped down as director of UCSF’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. The Center has in recent years received a total of $40 million in grants, in order to conduct studies on the effects of vaping.
The latest grant supported another infamous study claiming that vaping is a “significant underlying risk factor” for COVID-19. An article by Satya Marar, a policy analyst at Reason Foundation and the author of Tobacco Harm Reduction: A formula to save 500,000 Australian lives, said that while these claims were “unsubstantiated”, sadly they were used to justify countless e-cig bans during the pandemic.
“Glantz claims that vaping makes it harder for the lungs to resist infections, putting vapers at increased risk of respiratory illness and leaving them more vulnerable to Covid-19. Not only are these claims unsubstantiated — they could also actually undermine public health if they succeed in deterring tobacco smokers from transitioning to vaping, a significantly less harmful nicotine delivery method,” said Marar.
To add insult to injury, besides being widely criticized by other scientists and harm reduction advocates for his unreliable and biased work, in recent years Glantz was even accused of sexual harassment and racist abuse. Filed by former postdoc, Dr. Eunice Neeley, who now is a resident in family medicine at Emory University in Atlanta, the first of two sexual harassment suits, stated that the victim was subjected to two years of harassment by Glantz. Finally, the UCSF agreed to pay Neeley $150,000 in order to settle the case.
A wave of relief
Undoubtedly, this resignation has sent a wave of relief amongst tobacco harm reduction experts. “Professor Stanton A Glantz @ProfGlantz has retired from @UCSF, with immediate effect. No reason given,” tweeted renowned public health expert Clive Bates.
“It should have happened years ago – many lives would have been saved. And much else. My take-down of his most ridiculous damaging arguments is here: https://clivebates.com/vaping-risk-compared-to-smoking-challenging-false-dangerous-claim-by-stanton-glantz/”
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) shares the sentiment. “Today, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) celebrated the retirement of Professor Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. During his tenure, Dr. Glantz spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars publishing discredited anti-vaping studies that had to be retracted due to questionable science and false findings. Dr. Glantz was also accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, prompting the University of California to make more than $150,000 in compensatory payments to settle claims “more likely than not” to be true,” read a Press Release by the TPA.