Through its theme—the Intersections of Products with Populations—the USC-TCORS conducts research on the use and health effects of specific e-cigarette products across populations.
Our team

  •  Studies e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing approaches hypothesized to increase tobacco product attraction, use, and addiction in youth and young adults


The FDA and NIH, as part of an on-going interagency partnership, awarded 9 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) grants in September 2018 to support research to inform the regulation of tobacco products. In this second round of funding, the TCORS 2.0 research centers will receive, in total, more than $151 million in grants for funding years 2018-2022. What scientists learn about tobacco through the TCORS program helps inform and assess FDA’s prior, ongoing, and potential regulatory activities. TCORS investigators also have the flexibility and capacity to respond to FDA’s research needs as issues are raised in today’s rapidly evolving tobacco marketplace. 

E-cig companies use cartoon characters as logos, and new study shows it works

Electronic cigarette use, or vaping, is unsafe for children, adolescents and young adults. Electronic cigarettes often contain nicotine and other harmful substances. Nicotine is addictive and can curb adolescent brain development, which continues into young adulthood.
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JUUL’s social media campaign resonates alarmingly with teens

The popular e-cigarette brand JUUL is attracting an alarming number of teens online, researchers say. At least a quarter of JUUL’s twitter followers may be under 18, they write in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
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1 in 4 @JUULvapor tweeps is underage, a #PublicHealth concern

E-cigarette brand JUUL’s Twitter handle is attracting adolescents to the point that at least a quarter of its followers appear to be under age 18, according to a new analysis by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
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Juul to eliminate social media accounts, stop retail sales of flavors

The CEO of e-cigarette maker Juul announced plans Tuesday to eliminate some of its social media accounts and halt most retail sales of flavor products as part of a plan to restrict access to minors.
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Study finds social media accounts worsen health

A USC-led study found that automated social media accounts have been found to promote falsehoods that may be detrimental to public health, according to USC News.
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Kids sneak smoking substitute into school, USC researchers find

A tobacco replacement designed to help grown-ups quit smoking has landed in the hands of children with potentially harmful consequences, new USC research shows.
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‘Peanut Butter Cup’: A dessert or e-cigarette flavor?

Advertising for traditional cigarettes is strictly regulated: No cowboys looking cool, no cartoons and no bright colors that play up candy- flavored cigarettes that might appeal to kids.
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E-cigarettes: A shiny Alternative to Smoking?

Smoking is cool again. Who would have thought?
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Vaping on the rise: Colorado youth use e-cigarettes at twice the national average

Colorado’s high school and middle school students are using e-cigarettes, or vaping nicotine products, at twice the national average, according to a recent study by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorado youth reported the highest e-cigarette usage rate of any of the 37 states surveyed.
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E-cigarettes: A win of loss for public health

In 2003, Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik created the first commercially successful electronic cigarette. Motivated by the death of his father, who was a heavy smoker and died of lung cancer, Lik had a simple concept: to separate nicotine delivery from the carcinogens in cigarettes. Instead of burning tobacco, his device vaporized a nicotine-containing liquid, thus creating smoke-like vapor that could be inhaled.
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Concerns over health effects of vaping- and rising use among teens

E-cigarette use and vaping have been described as safer alternatives to smoking cigarettes, but advocacy groups and some scientists studying the growing trend say those nicotine-containing devices carry known health risks to developing teenage brains — and some kids are already using them.
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Your teen is underestimating the health risks of vaping

Teen today are more reluctant to smoke cigarettes than their counterparts nearly three decades ago, according to a study released this summer. But parents should hold their collective sign of relief. The study, carried out by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), uncovered a new troublesome trend: vaping.
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E-Cigarettes Encourage Adolescent Progression to Tobacco

Adding to a growing body of research on the effects of e-cigarette use, a new study suggests that adolescents who use electronic nicotine delivery systems increase their odds of subsequent use of combustible cigarettes in some capacity.
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Teens Who Vape May Be More Likely to Smoke Cigarettes Later, Study Finds

Even though rates of teen smoking are on the decline, a new study finds that teens who use e-cigarettes are more likely to light up their first traditional cigarette. 
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New study is a smoking gun, shows vaping is no deterrent to teen tobacco use

Kids who experiment with e-cigarettes end up smoking tobacco about as much as teen smokers who never used the devices, according to a USC study in the Nov. 5 journal Pediatrics
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USC receives $17.8 million grant to research tobacco-related health risks

A new, $17.8 million grant will ensure USC remains at the forefront of research to protect people from tobacco-related health risks.
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Behind E-cigarette Safety Risks And Popularity Among Teens E-CIGARETTE

E-cigarettes or e-cigs have quickly become a status symbol among teens — and are alarming parents and lawmakers including the FDA. So are these new phenomenons safe?
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High Nicotine Concentrations Delivered by ‘Pod Mods’

Pod mods,” which are small, rechargeable devices that aerosolize liquid solutions containing nicotine encapsulated in cartridges, pose a danger to adolescent users, according to a perspective article published in the September 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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Vaping may be more dangerous than we realized

When e-cigarettes first appeared on store shelves a few years back, they were marketed as a sleek, discreet technology that could help adult smokers kick a potentially deadly habit.
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Why vaping is so dangerous for teens

Most of what we know about nicotine addiction in teens, we know from cigarettes. But experts say the technology and chemistry of vaping might pose an entirely different threat.
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Eat, toke or vape: Teens not too picky when it comes to pot’s potpourri

There is no doubt that some high school students will try to get high. However, the ways they’re doing it might be changing.
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UK study shows e-cigarettes help adult smokers quit, but US experts urge caution

When combined with one-on-one behavior therapy, e-cigarettes are more effective in helping people quit smoking than traditional nicotine-replacement products such as patches and gum, according to a new randomized study of British adults published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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The sweetness of e-cigarette flavors is more likely to get teens hooked than the nicotine

As of today (Sept. 28), Juul Labs and four other e-cigarette companies have 44 days left to prove to the US Food and Drug Administration that they can keep their products away from minors; otherwise, they risk them being pulled from the market.
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Teens are smoking, vaping and eating cannabis

Adolescents who try marijuana are not just smoking it. Many are also vaping or eating cannabis, a U.S. study suggests.
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Distinguished Seminar Series Speaker

Friday, May 17th – Edythe London, Ph.D. 
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Mary Ann Pentz, Ph.D. Professor, Preventive Medicine
Sidney R. Garfield Chair in Health Sciences
Director, Institute for Prevention Research

Adam Leventhal, Ph.D. Professor of Preventive Medicine
Director of Health, Emotion, & Addiction Laboratory


What is Tobacco Regulatory Science?

Regulatory Science is the science of developing new tools, standards and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality and performance of (mainly) FDA-regulated products. Similarly, Tobacco Regulatory Science (TRS) is the development and application of a scientific base that will guide the FDA's efforts in the drafting and implementation of regulations on the manufacture, marketing and sale/distribution of the variety of tobacco products, with the goal of protecting public health. TRS, especially with respect to the roles and responsibility of the TCORS does not include an advocacy role. In other words, TCORS are not funded to implement tobacco control activities, but rather to provide scientific evidence to guide the FDA's decision-making process. USC TCORS' aims listed on our 'About: Overview' page identifies the ways in which direct our specific research to inform tobacoo regulation.

Research Programs

Effects of Social Media Messages and Marketing on Tobacco Transitions Effects of Social Media Messages and Marketing on Tobacco Transitions

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Influence of Tobacco Product Characteristics and Marketing on Diverse Populations of Vape Shop Customers Influence of Tobacco Product Characteristics and Marketing on Diverse Populations of Vape Shop Customers

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Product Characteristics, Marketing, and E-cigarette and Cigarette Use Across Adolescence and Young Adulthood Product Characteristics, Marketing, and E-cigarette and Cigarette Use Across Adolescence and Young Adulthood

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Human Laboratory Research to Inform Precision Regulation of E-cigarettes Across Populations Human Laboratory Research to Inform Precision Regulation of E-cigarettes Across Populations

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Career Enhancement Program

The USC TCORS Career Enhancement Core will provide career building experiences structured to increase the combination of knowledge of regulatory issues and skills in the field of tobacco regulatory science.

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Funding Opportunities

Through our Developmental/Pilot Projects Program, we support new and innovative research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products by the Food and Drug Administration.

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The USC TCORS hosts a monthly distinguished speakers series of a diverse group of individuals representing expertise in various tobacco-related fields.

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University of Southern California,
Los Angeles.

The University of Southern California's Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (USC TCORS) for Vulnerable Populations is one of 9 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science in the U.S. We were created to serve in the production of relevant scientific data to inform the regulatory decision making at the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. Additionally, we are here to educate and train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists.

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University of Southern California. All rights reserved.
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