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Tobacco is in the news on a daily basis. Politicians from President Clinton down to members of local city councils are actively fighting the tobacco industry. The once-invincible industry has settled lawsuits for hundreds of billions of dollars. Many states are initiating major efforts to do something meaningful about the half-million needless deaths that tobacco causes in America every year.

It was not always this way. For over two decades a few activists did battle with tobacco interests in relative obscurity, usually with little support from the organizations and politicians who should have been helping them.

This is a book about the last quarter-century of tobacco politics in California. In the early i970s a small band of activists were taken with the idea that people should not have to breathe secondhand tobacco smoke-an idea that was nothing short of bizarre at the time. Their efforts spawned hundreds of local tobacco control ordinances and, eventually, Proposition 99, the largest tobacco control program in the world. At every step of the way, these advocates had to confront the tobacco industry and its allies across the political spectrum. Tobacco War is their story.

The book draws heavily on work done by students and research fellows who have worked with Stanton Glantz to study tobacco politics and policy in California over the years: Michael Begay, Bruce Samuels, Mike Traynor, Heather Macdonald, Stella Aguinaga-Bialous, and Fred Monardi.

We thank these individuals and our other colleagues whose work has made this book possible.[*]

We are particularly grateful to Attorney General Hubert Humphrey III of Minnesota. His dogged determination to get the truth out about the tobacco industry in Minnesota's case to recover smoking-induced costs and otherwise rein in the tobacco industry forced the release of millions of secret tobacco industry documents, including several important ones about California that we discuss in this book.

Over time, the research that formed the basis of this book has been supported by several agencies: the University of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (Grant IRT520), the National Cancer Institute (Grant CA-61021), the American Cancer Society, and Edith and Henry Everett. We thank these agencies and individuals for making this work possible, particularly when the tobacco industry was making such support as difficult as possible. We also thank Annemarie Charlesworth for nailing down details and helping with final manuscript preparation and Lena Libatique for typing the index.

One of the authors of this book, Professor Stanton Glantz, participated in many of the events described here. While Glantz appears as a player, it is important to emphasize that this is not his personal memoir. Indeed, some of the key events in this story happened while Glantz was writing a statistics textbook on an out-of-state sabbatical.

The amazing thing about the California story is how many tobacco battles have taken place in the state over the past quarter-century. Indeed, we have omitted many important events to keep the book manageable and to focus on the California Tobacco Control Program. We do not discuss the liberation of the film Death in the West, which Philip Morris suppressed in England; or the development of the California Environmental

Protection Agency report on secondhand smoke; or the fight by Glantz and his colleagues at the University of California to make the Brown and Williamson documents public; or the efforts by congressional Republicans to force the National Cancer Institute to cancel Glantz's research funding; or the lawsuits the tobacco industry filed against the university to try to stop Glantz's work; or the lawsuit that California filed against the tobacco industry; or the passage of Proposition 10 in 1998, which raised tobacco taxes by fifty cents a pack to fund child development programs. These stories will have to wait for the sequel.

California's story holds important insights for people everywhere who want to develop and implement-and to defend-meaningful tobacco control programs.

Stanton A. Glantz
San Francisco, California

Edith D. Balbach
Medford, Massachusetts


* Portions of this book draw heavily on the following research: B. Samuels and S. Glantz, “The politics of local tobacco control” , JAMA 1991;266:2110-2117 (copyright American Medical Association, 1991); M. Traynor, M. Begay, and S. Glantz, “New tobacco industry strategy to prevent local tobacco control” , JAMA 1993;270:479-486 (copyright American Medical Association, 1993); H. Macdonald and S. Glantz, “Political realities of statewide smoking legislation: The passage of California's Assembly Bill AB 13” , Tobacco Control 1994;4:1081-1085 (copyright BMJ Publishing Group); M. Traynor and S. Glantz, “California's tobacco tax initiative: The development and passage of Proposition 99” , JHPPL 1996;21:543-585; S. Glantz, J. Slade, L. Bero, P. Hanauer, D. Barnes, The cigarette papers (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996); H. Macdonald, S. Aguinaga, and S. Glantz, “The defeat of Philip Morris' "California Uniform Tobacco Control Act,"” Am J Pub Health 1997; 87:1989-1996 (copyright American Public Health Association, 1997); E. Balbach and S. Glantz, “Tobacco control advocates must demand high-quality media campaigns” , Tobacco Control (1998; 7:397-408; copyright BMJ Publishing Group). We thank the copyright holders for permission to use this material.

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