Addiction Research at UCLA a Smoking Gun
Earlier this week, UCLA researcher and professor Edythe London had an incendiary device left on the porch of her home on the West side. London has been the target of such protest activities before, and remains as such, because of the project she is helming at the school to study nicotine addiction.
The LA Times has a succinct recipe for London and UCLA's research-related woes:
First, find dozens of hard-core teenage smokers as young as 14 and study their brains with high-tech scans. Second, feed vervet monkeys liquid nicotine and then kill at least six of them to examine their brains. Third, accept $6 million from tobacco giant Philip Morris to pay for it all. Fourth, cloak the project in unusual secrecy.
What does London and her team hope to uncover in this controversial process? She says the study "could discover new ways to help people quit smoking and lead to innovative treatments for other addictions." Although the animals' lives are sacrificed, she believes her work will ultimate save human lives.What role does Philip Morris play in this, then?
The tobacco company's intentions for funding the study read as dubious to many, who believe that Philip Morris is more interested in the study's results to help them "design a more addictive cigarette."
UCLA doesn't care where the money comes from, just that the checks don't bounce.