NYU professors who defended vaping didn’t disclose ties to Juul, documents show

6 May 2024

By Nicholas Florko, STAT News

WASHINGTON — Two New York University professors collaborated directly with executives of the vaping company Juul without disclosing those relationships to academic journals or Congress, a STAT investigation reveals.

At the height of the youth vaping crisis, when many public health experts were calling for sweeping action that could upend the entire industry, David Abrams and Ray Niaura emerged as two authoritative voices willing to defend vaping — despite its growing popularity among youth — as an effective public health strategy to help adults cut back or quit smoking.

Abrams, a frequent commentator about vaping in the news media, including CBS This Morning, CNN, and The New Yorker, coordinated extensively with Juul on public messaging in 2017 and 2018, according to company emails. Abrams asked Juul officials for talking points, allowed company executives to review an academic article prior to publishing, and attended Juul scientific advisory board meetings, all without disclosing those connections to journal publishers or the public.

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