Analysis & Comment

Opinion | How Juul Is Like Big Tobacco

To the Editor:

Re “Scientists Balk at Juul’s Offers of Steady Cash” (front page, May 27):

Juul’s effort to fund scientists who research the health effects of vaping is right out of Big Tobacco’s playbook.

In the 1950s, the tobacco industry recruited scientists to assure the public that smoking was safe, and in the 1980s, offers of no-strings research support were tendered to secondhand smoke researchers at Harvard and Yale.

Ultimately, the industry created the Center for Indoor Air Research in the late 1980s to covertly support corrupt research on secondhand smoke to underpin its public relations campaign to convince the public that secondhand smoke was a harmless annoyance, easily controlled by ventilation, to stave off smoke-free workplace laws.

Apparently, Altria’s 35 percent stake in Juul has resulted in a similar effort to recruit “independent” researchers to produce studies it can rely upon to recruit a new generation of nicotine addicts.

James L. Repace
Davidsonville, Md.
The writer, a retired scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, is the author of “Enemy No. 1: Waging the War on Secondhand Smoke.”

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