Juul Labs has been blamed of being the main culprit for the alleged alarming rise in teen vaping. The manufacturer has even been trying to minimise its social media presence, after being accused of paying social media influencers to entice the younger generation into using their device.

The $7.5 million grant is structured in a way to give the Meharry Center”full autonomy” and “sole ownership of the sponsored research and complete control over publication of the findings.”

In line with this, last March, Juul hired former Cardinal Health executive Douglas Roberts in order to lead its new “enterprise markets team,” which includes 17 employees, and is focused on striking deals with health plans, providers, self-insured employers and the public sector.

“It’s pretty consistent what we’re hearing, which is what’s out there today is not working, and people are really looking to get their arms around how do they provide alternatives to large groups and large masses of people who really haven’t had effective alternatives,” said Roberts at the time.

He had added that Juul was planning to design a program which would help smokers switch from smoking to using the Juul device. The health executive had acknowledged that the Juul products have not yet been classified as a smoking cessation tool and therefore can’t be marketed as such.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco based manufacturer is funding a study which will be conducted by Meharry Medical College in Nashville. The $7.5 million grant is structured in ways meant to ensure the “full autonomy” of the new Meharry Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health, including “sole ownership of the sponsored research and complete control over publication of the findings.”

The importance of this study

A statement from President and CEO of Meharry College, Dr. James Hildreth, says that a number of things require more research than “the rising prevalence of e-cigarettes, including how they affect young people.”

“The grant from Juul Labs gives Meharry the unique opportunity to take the lead on a new line of fully independent research in this critical area of public health,” said Hildreth. “Smoking has had disproportionately negative effects on minority, and particularly African-American, populations for decades. At Meharry, we have been on the front lines of treating those impacted by this scourge and see firsthand how smoking can destroy lives. Our goal is to help set a new course for education, prevention and policy surrounding the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes.”

Read Further: CBS News

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