Monthly Archives: April 2014

Thoughts on Prop 99’s Silver Anniversary

To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Proposition 99, the California Tobacco Tax, the Center is lucky to have the campaign directer of Prop 99, Jack Nicholl as a guest blogger. To commemorate this day, Mr. Nicholl will be speaking at the Center’s Information and Education Days’ Meet & Greet.

California voters passed Proposition 99 twenty-five years ago.  Last November’s silver anniversary marked a generation of amazing progress in public health. The vote in 1988 was 58% yes, 42% no, a landslide in today’s politics.  It was a crazy election with 29 ballot measures (3 on auto insurance alone) and resulted in big Republican victories: George HW Bush elected as president and Pete Wilson returned to the US Senate.

From early in 1988 when we began polling, it looked like we could win; but the public health world was skeptical.  California Medical Association undercut the campaign while sitting on the Executive Committee because they feared the tobacco companies would attack doctors and those who worked on the unsuccessful ballot measures restricting indoor smoking in 1978 and 1980 said the industry would beat us.  The political establishment knew the power of Big Tobacco and they were certain we would lose.

But those of us sticking our necks out saw things differently. Read More »

FDA Releases Long Awaited Proposal to Regulate E-cigarettes, Cigars, and Other Tobacco Products

Federal Update: FDA Releases Long Awaited Proposal to Regulate E-cigarettes, Cigars, and Other Tobacco Products
April 24, 2014

This morning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products issued its long-awaited proposal to regulate e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, hookah, pipe tobacco and other tobacco products. When Congress passed The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, it created FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products and gave it immediate authority over cigarettes, smokeless and roll-your-own tobacco products. In addition Congress gave authority to the agency to assert jurisdiction over other tobacco products, which FDA is finally doing today. The proposed regulation would also establish 18 as the nationwide minimum age for the legal purchase of tobacco products.

This regulation proposes to extend basic authorities found in the Tobacco Control Act to all other tobacco products (including e-cigarettes, cigars, little cigars, hookah, and pipe tobacco), such as: Read More »

I Love Girl Scout Cookies!

This post is written by the Center’s wonderful new intern, Debra Levi! She is working with Marlene Gomez on all things advocacy related to help with our work in Los Angeles. 


Growing up, I always thought that eating Girl Scout cookies was just a normal and essential part of life. I remember the neighborhood girls would come to my door and ask my mom how many boxes she wanted to order this year. I kid you not, my mom would order at least 20 boxes of Girl Scout cookies every year, at least 15 of which would be Thin Mints. Personally, I love the do-si-dos or peanut butter sandwich cookies. And can still eat a whole sleeve of either in one sitting. (Girl Scout cookies are on my diet during cookie season, but only if I eat them after my Kale smoothies!). The fact of the matter is that Girl Scout cookies are a mandatory staple in life.  Not only are they amazingly delicious, but also selling Girl Scout cookies teaches young girls greatleadership skills that help them mature and grow into successful adults; I think everyone can support that.  The only problem is Girl Scout cookies are sold for only about 2 months out of the year, and then they disappear for the remainder of the year and you just have to hope that your 20 boxes will last you for another month.

At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, why is she rambling on about Girl Scout cookies like they are the Holy Grail? Well, I’ll tell you!  As a tobacco control advocateand Girl Scout cookie lover and supporter, it really upsets me that E-cigarette companies are making E-juice or E-liquid in flavors such as Thin Mint, Chocomint cookie, and Samoa cookie pie. Read More »