Profile: Big Tobacco's Worst Nightmare; July 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Gibbs; 2 Page(s)
They are attacking us for things we didn¿t say!" Two minutes into a phone conversation, and Stan Glantz is already yelling into the receiver, even though the door to his office is wide open and a reporter is sitting nearby. As he excitedly plots with a colleague the best rejoinder to critics of his latest research paper, Glantz leans back in his chair until his short legs leave the floor. One foot starts swinging as an incongruous smile gradually betrays his pleasure at the controversy.
Centered above Glantz¿s cluttered desk, at the spot where a professor of medicine and cardiology at the University of California at San Francisco would normally hang his Ph.D., sits a large, red steel cabinet labeled "Fire Alarm Control." How fitting. Not just because this office, hardly bigger than a janitor¿s closet and packed almost to the ceiling with tens of thousands of documents that American cigarette companies would just as soon see burn, is itself arguably a fire hazard. But what better symbol for a tobacco-control researcher to stare at all day as he tallies the damage that tobacco use inflicts on society and as he plots how best to stamp out cigarette smoking forever?