Georgia State’s Latest Grant Smokes All the Others

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Georgia State University Thursday announced it’s received the largest grant in the school’s history. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health are giving GSU $19-million to study harm related to tobacco use.

But don’t we already know tobacco use is harmful to a person’s health?

Michael Eriksen, Dean of Georgia State’s School of Public Health, chuckles a bit when he hears that

“That’s funny—that’s the common response from friends when they hear about the grant,” Eriksen says before explaining that we still have a lot to learn. 

Tobacco companies have come up with ways to branch out from the traditional cigarette. Ericksen says we don’t know a lot about those alternatives — things like hookahs, electronic cigarettes, and little cigars.   

That’s where GSU comes in.

  “This is a real time project that’s going to involve science,” Eriksen says. “And that science is going to be used for regulatory decision making.”

Specifically, Georgia State will focus on human behavior in hopes of better understanding consumers’ decision making processes.

GSU is one of 14 newly-designated “Tobacco Centers of Regulator Science.”  Others include Yale, Penn and the Univ. of North Carolina. An audio version of this story