Tobacco War charts the dramatic and complex history of tobacco politics in California over the past quarter century. Beginning with the activities of a small band of activists who, in the 1970s, put forward the radical notion that people should not have to breathe second-hand tobacco smoke, Stanton Glantz and Edith Balbach follow the movement through the 1980s, when activists created hundreds of city and county ordinances by working through their local officials, to the present--when tobacco is a highly visible issue in American politics and smoke-free restaurants and bars are a reality throughout the state. The authors show how these accomplishments rest on the groundwork laid over the past two decades by tobacco control activists who have worked across the U.S. to change how people view the tobacco industry and its behavior.
Tobacco War is accessibly written, balanced, and meticulously researched. The California experience provides a graphic demonstration of the successes and failures of both the tobacco industry and public health forces. It shows how public health advocates slowly learned to control the terms of the debate and how they discovered that simply establishing tobacco control programs was not enough, that constant vigilance was necessary to protect programs from a hostile legislature and governor. In the end, the California experience proves that it is possible to dramatically change how people think about tobacco and the tobacco industry and to rapidly reduce tobacco consumption. But California's experience also demonstrates that it is possible to run such programs successfully only as long as the public health community exerts power effectively. With legal settlements bringing big dollars to tobacco control programs in every state, this book is must reading for anyone interested in battling and beating the tobacco industry.
Stanton A. Glantz is Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Among his books are The Cigarette Papers (California, 1996), Tobacco: Biology and Politics (1999), and Primer of Biostatistics (1997). Edith D. Balbach is Director of the Community Health Program at Tufts University.
"Shows how the tobacco industry works behind the scenes . . . to subvert public health and how courageous action by public health advocates beat them back."—C. Everett Koop, former Surgeon General of the United States
"This motivating narrative about the victories over Big Tobacco and their political minions by a smart, tough and relentless group of citizens and voluntary agencies in the nation's largest state teaches many lessons for future struggles against the tobacco industry and other corporations that control governments in order to sell harmful products. For citizens who want strategy, inspiration and civic wisdom, for students who want to study how people can win against massive odds, for public health workers who need the courage of their convictions and the resolve of their objectives, Tobacco War by Glantz and Balbach is as complete a menu and map as there is in print."—Ralph Nader
"The man who 'belled the cat' in the 1980s with his annual accounting of tobacco-industry campaign contributions has produced a definitive case study of how special interests manipulate and distort the political process. It should be required reading for all state politicians, if for no other reason than to remind them that there is someone out there watching what they do."—Steve Scott, political editor, California Journal
"Tobacco War is a fascinating, absorbing, and thoroughly documented description of the struggle between the people of California with the tobacco industry and its allies. It is must reading for anyone who wants to know how to win this fight. The final chapter, 'Lessons Learned,' is a gem. The book is not only a wonderful textbook in public health, public policy, and politics, but a great read for the general public."—Philip R. Lee, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health in the Johnson and Clinton Administrations