Meharry Medical College launched on Friday the Meharry Center for the Study of Social Determinants of Health to advance the school’s mission of exploring the impact of social determinants – including smoking, alcohol use, food instability, and poverty – on underserved communities, and crafting programs and policies to help people lead healthier lives.

The center will be housed in the School of Graduate Studies and Research. Its first initiative will involve the study of tobacco and nicotine-related products through a five-year, $7.5-million independent research grant from JUUL Labs, Inc.

“I understand the involvement of JUUL may give pause, just as it first did me,” said president and CEO Dr. James E.K. Hildreth, Sr. in a letter to the college community. “We have, however, spent

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