Research Summary

My cancer-related research focuses on the prevention of tobacco-related cancer. Tobacco is responsible for 35% of cancer deaths, and my work aims to understand the strategies used to promote tobacco uptake and continued use by the tobacco industry, and how to counter-engineer these strategies to improve tobacco control and cancer prevention programs and policies. I am recognized internationally as an expert in tobacco marketing strategies targeting specific audiences, particularly young adults and women, and the use of social culture in tobacco marketing and counter-marketing campaigns. I have been Principal Investigator continuously funded by the National Cancer Institute since 2009 to study the marketing of tobacco products and improving and evaluating tobacco control and cessation programs for young people.

I am Director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, and the Principal Investigator of the UCSF FDA Tobacco Center of Excellence on Regulatory Science (TCORS). I directed the Postdoctoral Fellowship Training Program at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education from 2005-2020. I have supervised over 100 postdoctoral research fellows and students in a wide variety of disciplines including social and behavioral science, communication, anthropology, history, economics, clinical medicine, sociology, and health education. I am excited to continue to integrate tobacco research and training activities with the activities of SF CAN and the Cancer Control Program.

Research Funding

  • September 19, 2013 - August 31, 2023 - Integrated Health, Behavioral and Economic Research on Current and Emerging Tobacco Products , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U54HL147127
  • September 1, 2009 - July 31, 2021 - Understanding Smokeless Tobacco and Electronic Cigarette Marketing , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA141661
  • July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2021 - Postdoctoral training in tobacco control , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: T32CA113710
  • August 27, 2012 - February 28, 2019 - Addressing disparities in chronic disease with a teen and young adult focus , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P60MD006902


Harvard & Radcliffe Colleges, A.B., 1990, History and Science
University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, M.D., 1996, Medicine
University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, M.P.H., 2000, Interdisciplinary Public Health
University of California San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1999-2002, media interventions, social marketing

Honors & Awards

  • 1986
    National Merit Scholar
  • 1990
    Phi Beta Kappa, Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, Harvard University
  • 1991
    Regent's Scholar, UCSF
  • 2004
    Stewart Trust Research Award, UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • 2005
    Most important and influential papers in Tobacco Control. Three papers voted by peers into the top ten in youth and tobacco advertising categories
  • 2005, 2011, 2018
    Outstanding Mentorship Award. Nominee. Postdoctoral Scholar's Association, UCSF
  • 2008
    Best Young Clinician-Investigator Award. Society for General Internal Medicine California/Hawaii Region
  • 2012
    Robert H Crede Award Winner, Excellence in Research, Division of General Internal Medicine, UCSF
  • 2015
    UCSF 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award Winner, Alumni Association of UCSF
  • 2016
    American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2020
    John Ziegler Mentoring Award Nominee, Masters in Global Health Program, UCSF
  • 2021
    Hal Luft Mentoring Award in Health Services Research, Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF

Selected Publications

  1. Llanes KD, Ling PM, Guillory J, Vogel EA. Young Adults' Perceptions of and Intentions to Use Nicotine and Cannabis Vaporizers in Response to e-Cigarette or Vaping-Associated Lung Injury Instagram Posts: Experimental Study. J Med Internet Res. 2023 09 14; 25:e46153.  View on PubMed
  2. Nguyen N, Peyser ND, Olgin JE, Pletcher MJ, Beatty AL, Modrow MF, Carton TW, Khatib R, Djibo DA, Ling PM, Marcus GM. Associations between tobacco and cannabis use and anxiety and depression among adults in the United States: Findings from the COVID-19 citizen science study. PLoS One. 2023; 18(9):e0289058.  View on PubMed
  3. Chambers J, Keyhani S, Ling PM, Hoggatt KJ, Hasin D, Nguyen N, Woods A, Ryder A, Cohen BE. Perceptions of Safety of Daily Cannabis vs Tobacco Smoking and Secondhand Smoke Exposure, 2017-2021. JAMA Netw Open. 2023 08 01; 6(8):e2328691.  View on PubMed
  4. Nguyen N, Holmes LM, Pravosud V, Cohen BE, Ling PM. Changes in perceived harms of tobacco and cannabis and their correlations with use: A panel study of young adults 2014-2020. Addict Behav. 2023 Sep; 144:107758.  View on PubMed
  5. Gribben V, Chang AY, Ling P, Rasmussen J, Tebb K, Fuentes-Afflick E, Marbin J. Impact of a Multidisciplinary Curriculum Training Students and Residents in Tobacco Cessation Strategies for Adult Caregivers of Children. MedEdPORTAL. 2023; 19:11313.  View on PubMed
  6. Kim M, Neilands TB, Gregorich SE, Jordan JW, Ling PM. Young Adult Responses to Peer Crowd-Based Targeting in E-cigarette Advertisements: An Experimental Study. Nicotine Tob Res. 2023 05 22; 25(6):1125-1134.  View on PubMed
  7. Watkins SL, Thompson J, Feld AL, Ling PM, Lee YO. Flavored Cannabis Use and Cannabis-Tobacco Co-use: Patterns In U.S. States With Legalized Nonmedical Adult Use. Am J Prev Med. 2023 10; 65(4):551-559.  View on PubMed
  8. Nguyen N, Koester KA, Kim M, Watkins SL, Ling PM. "I'm both smoking and vaping": a longitudinal qualitative study of US young adults who tried to quit smoking cigarettes by using electronic cigarettes. Tob Control. 2023 Apr 18.  View on PubMed
  9. Pravosud V, Holmes LM, Lempert LK, Ling PM. Impacts of Tax and Flavor Tobacco Policies on San Francisco Bay Area Tobacco Prices. Eval Rev. 2023 10; 47(5):763-785.  View on PubMed
  10. Shields PG, Bierut L, Arenberg D, Balis D, Cinciripini PM, Davis J, Edmondson D, Feliciano J, Hitsman B, Hudmon KS, Jaklitsch MT, Leone FT, Ling P, McCarthy DE, Ong MK, Park ER, Prochaska J, Sandoval AJ, Sheffer CE, Spencer S, Studts JL, Tanvetyanon T, Tindle HA, Tong E, Triplette M, Urbanic J, Videtic G, Warner D, Whitlock CW, McCullough B, Darlow S. Smoking Cessation, Version 3.2022, NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2023 03; 21(3):297-322.  View on PubMed
  11. Nguyen N, Thrul J, Neilands TB, Ling PM. Associations Between Product Type and Intensity of Tobacco and Cannabis Co-use on the Same Day Among Young Adult Smokers: Smartphone-Based Daily-Diary Study. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2023 02 20; 11:e40736.  View on PubMed
  12. Ling PM, Hrywna M, Talbot EM, Lewis MJ. Tobacco-Derived Nicotine Pouch Brands and Marketing Messages on Internet and Traditional Media: Content Analysis. JMIR Form Res. 2023 Feb 15; 7:e39146.  View on PubMed
  13. Lyu JC, Olson SS, Ramo DE, Ling PM. Delivering vaping cessation interventions to adolescents and young adults on Instagram: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Public Health. 2022 Dec 10; 22(1):2311.  View on PubMed
  14. Lyu JC, Afolabi A, White JS, Ling PM. Perceptions and Aspirations Toward Peer Mentoring in Social Media-Based Electronic Cigarette Cessation Interventions for Adolescents and Young Adults: Focus Group Study. JMIR Form Res. 2022 Dec 01; 6(12):e42538.  View on PubMed
  15. Vassey J, Hendlin YH, Vora M, Ling P. Influence of Disclosed And Undisclosed Funding Sources In Tobacco Harm Reduction Discourse: A Social Network Analysis. Nicotine Tob Res. 2022 Oct 29.  View on PubMed
  16. Pravosud V, Holmes LM, Lempert LK, Ling PM. Policies restricting flavors and non-cigarette tobacco product availability: A study of vape shops in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, California, USA. Prev Med Rep. 2022 Dec; 30:101997.  View on PubMed
  17. Benowitz NL, Goniewicz ML, Halpern-Felsher B, Krishnan-Sarin S, Ling PM, O'Connor RJ, Pentz MA, Robertson RM, Bhatnagar A. Tobacco product use and the risks of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19: current understanding and recommendations for future research. Lancet Respir Med. 2022 09; 10(9):900-915.  View on PubMed
  18. Caleb Alexander G, Mix LA, Choudhury S, Taketa R, Tomori C, Mooghali M, Fan A, Mars S, Ciccarone D, Patton M, Apollonio DE, Schmidt L, Steinman MA, Greene J, Ling PM, Seymour AK, Glantz S, Tasker K. The Opioid Industry Documents Archive: A Living Digital Repository. Am J Public Health. 2022 08; 112(8):1126-1129.  View on PubMed
  19. Lyu JC, Huang P, Jiang N, Ling PM. A Systematic Review of E-Cigarette Marketing Communication: Messages, Communication Channels, and Strategies. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 07 28; 19(15).  View on PubMed
  20. Lee A, Chang AA, Lyu JC, Ling PM, Hsia SL. Characterizing Participant Perceptions about Smoking-Cessation Pharmacotherapy and E-Cigarettes from Facebook Smoking-Cessation Support Groups. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 06 14; 19(12).  View on PubMed

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