Writing on his blog at the beginning of the year, Glantz said: “I have notified Dean Talmadge King that I will be stepping down as Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education effective June 30, 2020.
“We have built an amazing program in the nearly 20 years since we started building the Tobacco Center. We are probably the leading center for tobacco control research and education in the world and have recently added a group of faculty members working on cannabis. We have trained nearly 100 postdocs who have moved into leadership positions in academia, as well as government and nongovernmental organizations around the world.
“My decision to step down is influenced in no small part by these successes. I have always been impressed with leaders who have stepped aside when the organizations they helped build are strong. Doing so increases the likelihood of a successful change in leadership that will allow the organization to accomplish even more.”
If anybody needed an indication as to whether he will calm his vitriolic and mendacious attacks on vaping and tobacco harm reduction need look no further than a press release from him this week. In it, Glantz stated: “I think there's some things that are pretty clear now -- one is in terms of lung disease. E-cigarettes are about as bad as cigarettes -- you're still breathing in ultrafine particles, heavy metals and flavours that have high pulmonary toxicity.”
Experts responded to that statement with incredulity. Dr Moira Gilchrist wrote: “Yes, he said that. I'm not making it up.”
Foundation for a Smoke Free World’s Charles Gardner commented: “The tobacco control field has truly shaken my beliefs as a scientist. People in the broader global health field have conflicting priorities and tend to inflate numbers for their favourite diseases. But it’s not like this. They embrace ‘what works’ even if big pharma makes it.”
Dr Karl Snæ opined: “Glantz may only exist in some state of distorted quantum physics vacuum - where space and time doesn't exist and reversal of cause and effect is a norm.”
Repeating a lie about vaping not being safer than smoking, and another regarding vaping just leading to dual use of ecigs and tobacco, he added: “The FDA can simply say, we're not going to allow these products to be sold. In order to sell e-cigarettes in the United States, you need to have what's called a marketing order. If the FDA doesn't grant a marketing order, then the product can't be sold. If the product can't be legally sold, that will solve the problem.”
Glantz has been the focus of multiple claims of sexual misconduct and stealing the credit for work from his subordinates [link] [link], and had a paper retracted recently [link]. His actions led to many researchers and the University of California-San Francisco being barred from accessing the data in future that he misused in that study.
Expert and advocate Clive Bates stated: “Professor Stanton A Glantz has retired from UCSF, with immediate effect. No reason given. It should have happened years ago - many lives would have been saved. And much else.”
Despite all of the controversy, the septuagenarian campaigner continued to receive millions of dollars in research funds. With this wealth on offer and his influence in the department, how long until the next Glantz raises her or his head above the parapet?