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The main agency through which the Government supports medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant-in-aid from the Office of Science and Technology, part of the Department of Trade and Industry.
The MRC does not normally commission research, but always welcomes high quality applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are judged in open competition with other demands on funding. Awards are made according to their scientific quality and importance to health.
The MRC funds research into a wide range of diseases related to smoking. These include cancer, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular and circulatory disorders. The Council is not currently funding research on cannabis smoking and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.