Marketing and Prevention

Community-based Prevention of Youth Cannabis Use in Marin County

Jeremiah Mock, MSc, PhD

Marin County communities have some of the highest rates of youth cannabis use in California. To address this problem, a collaborative prevention project was established between Marin Healthy Youth Partnerships, a community-based organization funded by a federal Drug-Free Communities grant, the Marin Prevention Network, and Marin County Health and Human Services.

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Tobacco Industry

Elizabeth Smith, PhD

This project uses tobacco industry documents to analyze the implications of the industry's corporate social responsibility initiatives for tobacco control.  

Current and Emerging Tobacco Products in a Rural Context: Influences of Product Characteristics on Perceptions, Behaviors, and Biologic Exposures (2.0)

Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD

Cigarette smoking among U.S. adolescents has declined, but similar declines have not occurred in youth smokeless tobacco (ST) use. There is also a growing trend among adolescents and young adults of poly-use of multiple tobacco products in combination. In recent decades, ST use has shifted from an older to a younger demographic, coincident with increasing industry marketing and expanding diversity in ST product characteristics. These new ST products include different types, brands, flavors, and varying levels of bioavailable nicotine and cancer-causing nitrosamines.

Denormalizing Smoking in the Great Outdoors in California and throughout the Pacific Rim

Jeremiah Mock, MSc, PhD

Smoking and vaping in the outdoors are considered to be normal and acceptable in California and the Pacific Rim region. However, tobacco use in the outdoors results in harmful levels of secondhand smoke exposure, toxic tobacco, vaping and cannabis product waste, and fire hazards. This study identifies factors driving the cultural norm and pervasive notion that it is socially acceptable for smokers to smoke in the outdoors by analyzing past and current tobacco industry advertising, social media and political strategies in California, Thailand and Japan.

Environmental Contamination from Tobacco, Vaping and Cannabis Waste

Jeremiah Mock, MSc, PhD

This sentinel surveillance garbology study documents environmental contamination from e-cigarette product waste, combustible tobacco product waste, and cannabis product waste at public high schools with in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Francisco counties. The study shows that e-cigarette waste and combustible tobacco product waste contaminate the Bay Area high schools, confirming use of these products by high school students. Cannabis product waste represents an emerging issue.

Evaluation of a School-Based Smoking Prevention Program in Indonesia

Justin White, PhD

In this cluster randomized controlled trial, we test the effectiveness of two non-monetary incentive programs to prevent tobacco use among middle-school children in Indonesia. The study results will indicate whether a social penalty can motivate students to refrain from smoking; identify the magnitude of peer influence on students’ smoking behavior; and inform anti-tobacco policy in a high-prevalence setting.

Impact of Medical Cannabis Laws on Youth

Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH

Dr. Schmidt is working on how medical cannabis laws are impacting young people nationally, as well as California-specific work on shaping local policies, and the locations of outlets in low-income communities that are already densely populated with liquor outlets. Her work tracks alcohol-cannabis substitution and uses community-engaged approaches to bring evidence-to-policy around alcohol and cannabis at the local and state levels.

Impact of Recreational and Medical Marijuana Legalization on Tobacco Use, Marijuana Use, and Perceptions of Risk

Beth Cohen, MD, MA

This project follows a group of patients throughout the US that we surveyed in 2017 to examine how changes recreational legalization in California and other states have effected use of marijuana as well as perceptions of its risks. There is concern that recreational legalization of marijuana could lead to increases in use of tobacco, particularly with the availability of devices that can be used for both substances and the normalization of smoking and vaping.

Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health (i4Health)

Ricardo Munoz, PhD

This site, i4Health, is being used to construct a bilingual (Spanish/English), Digital Apothecary to develop, evaluate, and disseminate Massive Open Online Interventions available to anyone, anywhere, any time at no charge.  


1. Muñoz, R. F., Bunge, E. L., Chen, K., Schueller, S. M., Bravin, J. I., Shaughnessy, E. A., & Pérez-Stable, E. J. (2016). Massive Open Online Interventions: A novel model for delivering behavioral-health services worldwide. Clinical Psychological Science, 4, 194–205.

Marketing Tobacco Products to Women

Stacey Anderson, PhD

Dr. Anderson studies how marketing for tobacco products targets consumers' psychosocial needs that are unrelated to smoking--particularly women, health-concerned smokers, and young trend-setters--and implications for public health policy.

Older Adult Risk Perceptions of Conventional and Emerging Tobacco Products

The absolute negative health burden from smoking is greatest for adults over age 50. Older adults are growing in number and are the least likely to quit of any age group, because they underestimate both the risks for smoking and the benefits of cessation. While quitting smoking by age 50 halves the risk of lung cancer, and almost immediately decreases cardiovascular risk, older adults are often unaware of these benefits.

Reversing Tobacco Marketing Strategies in Bars

Pamela Ling, MD, MPH

This study evaluated the effectiveness of novel interventions to decrease smoking behavior among young adults in bars and night-clubs.

Risk And Benefit Perceptions in the Use of Conventional and Emerging Tobacco Products Among Older Smokers

The absolute negative health burden from smoking is greatest for adults over age 55. Older adults (>45) are growing in number and are the least likely to quit of any age group, perhaps because they underestimate both the risks for smoking and the benefits of cessation.Older age is positively correlated with rationalizing beliefs about quitting smoking: older smokers exhibit greater unrealistic optimism about their risks for tobacco-related diseases and death than their younger counterparts.

Smoking in the Movies

Exposure to onscreen smoking in movies is the largest single factor promoting youth smoking in the United States, accounting for about 44% of all new smokers.  This project seeks to understand the effects of smoking in the movies on youth and young adults, the historical links between the tobacco and entertainment industries, and to develop and promote effective policy responses to this problem.  The research forms the basis for the Smoke Free Movies educational and advocacy campaign.

State and local cannabis regulation and interactions with tobacco control policy

The emergence of the legalized cannabis market, combined with the spread of e-cigarettes (which can also be used to aerosolize cannabis), have changed the tobacco market.  In many places the historic pattern of youth beginning with tobacco and adding cannabis has been reversed, with more youth starting with cannabis and adding tobacco.  The pressure for public use of cannabis has the potential for undermining smokefree laws.  Finally, major tobacco corporations, which have been considering entering the cannabis market since the 1970s, are starting to move.  This research explores this new d

Tobacco Industry Marketing Strategies

Pamela Ling, MD, MPH

This study includes analyses of previously secret tobacco industry documents related to marketing and promotion, including targeting special populations (women, young adults, low SES), marketing of novel tobacco products, and harm reduction. We complement the document analyses with experimental studies of smokers’ responses to marketing and anti-tobacco messages in order to improve policy and public health campaigns.

Tobacco Industry Responses to Public Health Campaigns

Elizabeth Smith, PhD

This project uses tobacco industry documents to explore how the tobacco industry has responded to public health and other campaigns that focus attention on the behaviors of the tobacco industry, and to develop a resource for advocates designing such campaigns.  

Tobacco Use Among Rural High School Males and Associated Nicotine and Carcinogen Exposure

Neal Benowitz, MD, Stuart Gansky, MS, DrPH

Unlike smoking,conventional smokeless tobacco (ST) (moist snuff, known as dip and chewing tobacco) among US high school students is much higher among males (13%) than females (2%) and is especially high in rural areas.  In 2005, ST manufacturers spent over $250 million on marketing, including “new” ST products such as dissolvable films, compressed tobacco (e.g.