A growing number of e-cigarette and vaporizer sellers have started offering college scholarships as a means of getting their brands listed on university websites.
The tactic is taken from a method that was once believed to improve a site's ranking in search results. It has successfully landed vaping brands on the sites of some of the nation's best-known universities, including Harvard. It also has drawn criticism that the scholarships are a ploy to attract young customers.
The scholarships range from $250 to $5,000. They mostly involve essay contests that ask students to write about the dangers of tobacco or whether vaping could be a safer alternative.
At least one company asks applicants to write about which type of e-cigarettes they recommend. Some seek papers in support of medical marijuana.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.)
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