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alex and lea smoke cigarettes on the roof smoking ban photo illustration Credit: Alex Small , Alex Small

Penn has just received a $20 million federal grant to fund the University of Pennsylvania Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science.

Although there are 14 tobacco research centers across the country, this regulatory research project is the first of its kind, according to a release from Penn Medicine on Friday. The center will be used to conduct studies about the regulation of tobacco products for public health and safety.

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Penn TCORS will conduct different projects including a comprehensive analysis of the nature and effects of media coverage of tobacco products on young adults. The program also plans to create a “Tobacco Fact Check Core” which will separate fact from fiction in political messages pertaining to tobacco.

“This is a wonderful and unique grant which will help to improve understanding and health,” said Susan Phillips, senior vice president for Public Affairs at Penn Med.

Penn TCORS will be led by professors Robert Hornik and Caryn Lerman and will include faculty members from the Annenberg School for Communication, the Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School.

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“Public communication about tobacco products has been transformed by the digital marketing revolution and the rapid diffusion of emerging social media,” Hornik, a Communications professor, said in a press release.

The grant is supported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as the National Institute of Health and will continue to 2018.

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Additionally, the program will create a new training program to provide doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows the opportunity to strengthen their research in the field of tobacco communication and regulatory science.

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