My research focuses on tobacco use in vulnerable populations, with a particular emphasis on interventions with the homeless population. My population-based research includes the analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal data, including the analysis of national data, to examine the use of novel tobacco products and the efficacy of tobacco control policies on reducing tobacco use in low-income populations.
As PI of an exploratory/developmental grant from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, I developed and pilot tested the feasibility of a capacity building intervention to improve homeless shelters' capacity to facilitate smoking cessation among homeless adults. My current research includes the epidemiological analysis of tobacco use and the development and evaluation of interventions to reduce tobacco use among vulnerable populations.
In partnership with one of the largest permanent supportive housing programs for homeless and low-income adults with special needs in San Diego County, we will conduct a pre- and post-policy evaluation a smoke-free policy that includes restrictions on smoking in indoor and shared outdoor areas. The study will examine tobacco use behaviors, exposure to secondhand smoke, knowledge of, adherence to, and attitudes toward the smoke-free policy among the clientele of 4 permanent supportive housing programs.
In this study, funded by the Center for Aging in Diverse Communities, we will conduct in-depth, semi-structured interviews of a sub-sample of a cohort of older, African American homeless adults (PI: Dr. Margot Kushel) to develop a smoking cessation intervention unique to the needs of this population. Using these formative data, we will pilot test the smoking cessation intervention among target participants to obtain preliminary data in support of a larger RCT.
1999 Brown University, ScB
2006 Boston University School of Medicine, MD
2009 New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University, Internal Medicine Residency
2011 University of California, San Francisco, MAS
2013 University of California, San Diego, Post-doctoral fellowship
Vijayaraghavan M, Messer K, White M, Pierce J. The effectiveness of tobacco control policies on low-income populations in the United States. 2013. AJPH. 2013 Dec;103(12):2276-8
Vijayaraghavan M, Penko J, Vittinghoff E, Bangsberg DR, Miaskowski C, Kushel MB Smoking behaviors in a community- based cohort of HIV-infected indigent adults. Aids Behav. 2014 Mar;18(3):535-43.
Vijayaraghavan M, Pierce J, White M, Messer K. Differential use of other tobacco products among current and former cigarette smokers by income level. Addict Behav. 2014 Oct;39(10):1452-8.
Vijayaraghavan M and Pierce J. Interest in smoking cessation related to a smoke-free policy among sheltered homeless adults. J Community Health. 2015 Aug; 40(4):686-91
Messer K, Vijayaraghavan M, White M, Shi Y, Chang C, Conway K.P., Hartman A, Schroeder M.J, Compton W.M., Pierce J. Smoking cessation attempts among US smokers who also use smokeless tobacco. Addict Behav. 2015 Jul 4;51:113-119.