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Southern California University Receives $17.8 Million to Study Tobacco Risks

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The University of Southern California has received a grant to protect people from health risks associated with tobacco use.

The $17.8 million grant extended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products will be used to build the scientific basis for regulating tobacco products and promote behavioral and biomedical research.

USC’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, which studies the use and health effects of electronic cigarettes, will use the grant over a period of five years to conduct the research.

“After decades of reducing use of tobacco products and cigarette use, we now face a new emerging crisis in vaping, which exceeds the prevalence of cigarette use among young people,” Mary Ann Pentz, Director of the Institute for Prevention Research at the university, said.

“Without adequate regulation and control, the myriad of new vaping products threatens to undo progress to protect young people from tobacco.”

The research will be mainly focused on social media markets promoting tobacco products, survey of smoking and vaping among southern California teens, lab studies on types of e-cigarettes young people are addictive and effects of e-cigarettes marketing at vape shops on customers.

The researchers will also provide measures on the regulation of e-cigarettes and affect socially conscious policies aiming to correct tobacco-related illness disparities.

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