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. 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 Feb 20; 11:e40736.  View on PubMed
  2. 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
  3. 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 12 10; 22(1):2311.  View on PubMed
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Hoeper S, Crosbie E, Holmes LM, Godoy L, DeFrank V, Hoang C, Ling PM. "The Perfect Formula:" Evaluating Health Claims, Products and Pricing on Cannabis Dispensary Websites in Two Recently Legalized States. Subst Use Misuse. 2022; 57(8):1207-1214.  View on PubMed
  12. Watkins SL, Pieper F, Chaffee BW, Yerger VB, Ling PM, Max W. Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among Young Adults by Race and Ethnicity: Evidence From the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. J Adolesc Health. 2022 08; 71(2):226-232.  View on PubMed
  13. Harvanko A, Koester KA, Helen GS, Olson S, Kim HC, Ling PM. A Mixed-Methods Study on Use of Different Tobacco Products among Younger and Older Adults with Lower and Higher Levels of Nicotine Exposure in California in 2019-2020. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 05 03; 19(9).  View on PubMed
  14. Nguyen N, Keyhani S, Ling PM, Hoggatt KJ, Hasin D, Cohen BE. Self-reported Changes in Cannabis Use Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic among US Adults. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2022 Sep-Oct; 54(4):295-299.  View on PubMed
  15. Hiatt RA, Sibley A, Venkatesh B, Cheng J, Dixit N, Fox R, Ling P, Nguyen T, Oh D, Palmer NR, Pasick RJ, Potter MB, Somsouk M, Vargas RA, Vijayaraghavan M, Ashworth A. From Cancer Epidemiology to Policy and Practice: the Role of a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2022; 9(1):10-21.  View on PubMed
  16. Holmes LM, Lempert LK, Ling PM. Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions Reduce Tobacco Product Availability and Retailer Advertising. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 03 15; 19(6).  View on PubMed
  17. Lyu JC, Huang P, Ling PM. Electronic cigarette related topics with conflicting arguments in Chinese newspapers. Tob Induc Dis. 2022; 20:25.  View on PubMed
  18. Ling PM, Kim M, Egbe CO, Patanavanich R, Pinho M, Hendlin Y. Moving targets: how the rapidly changing tobacco and nicotine landscape creates advertising and promotion policy challenges. Tob Control. 2022 03; 31(2):222-228.  View on PubMed
  19. Cohen JE, Krishnan-Sarin S, Eissenberg T, Gould TJ, Berman ML, Bhatnagar A, Barnett TE, Soule E, Popova L, Tan ASL, Blank MD, Ling PM, O'Connor R. Balancing Risks and Benefits of E-Cigarettes in the Real World. Am J Public Health. 2022 02; 112(2):e1-e2.  View on PubMed
  20. Lyu JC, Wang D, Mao Z, Ling PM. Evolution of media frames about e-cigarettes from 2004 to 2019: a content analysis of newspapers in China. Health Educ Res. 2022 01 22; 36(4):456-466.  View on PubMed

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