Research Summary

I am known nationally and internationally for my research on the tobacco industry's strategic efforts to counter public health and on how tobacco policy problems are or are not being understood socially as actionable. To date, I have served as PI/MPI on more than 20 funded tobacco control-related research projects and have been continuously funded by NIH since 2001 across multiple projects. As editor-in-chief of Tobacco Control, the top international specialty journal in the field, I first editorialized in 2010 about the need to think explicitly about an endgame for the tobacco epidemic. Since then, my work has focused on thinking about and researching the tobacco endgame, and my two current projects focus on this topic. I have been a speaker on tobacco endgame thinking at numerous national and international meetings, conferences, and working groups. My team published the first analytic review of the endgame literature and we recently published a paper laying out the arguments for phasing out sales of cigarettes that has provided support for emerging national and international advocacy in this area. In previous studies, we explored the tobacco industry's targeting of various groups and their responses to such targeting, how 'corporate social responsibility' efforts from tobacco companies are perceived, how businesses decide to abandon tobacco sales, and tobacco control policy within the US military.

Research Funding

  • September 20, 2019 - August 31, 2023 - Tobacco retail policy innovation to reduce health disparities, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA229238
  • July 30, 2004 - February 28, 2016 - Barriers to Effective Tobacco Control Policy Implementation in the US Military, Co-Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NIDA, Sponsor Award ID: R01DA036507
  • September 1, 2011 - July 31, 2015 - Exploring voluntary tobacco-related initiatives by businesses, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA143076
  • August 1, 2010 - May 31, 2015 - Enhancing Civilian Support for Military Tobacco Control, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA157014


Southern Oregon College, Ashland, OR, A.S., Highest Honors, Nursing
University of California, San Francisco, B.S.N., Highest Honors; M.S., Community Health/Cross-Cultural Nursing
University of California, San Francisco, Ph.D., Nursing
Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, Postdoctoral Fellow, Health Policy/Health Services Research

Honors & Awards

  • 2006
    Sybil Jacobs Award for Outstanding Use of Tobacco Industry Documents, American Legacy Foundation
  • 2007-08
    Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award for research in United Kingdom
  • 2008
    Appointed Editor-in-Chief, Tobacco Control international journal (BMJ publication; international open search)
  • 2011
    Excellence in Teaching Award, graduating MS students, School of Nursing
  • 2012
    Harold Luft Award for Mentoring in Health Services and Health Policy Research, Institute for Health Policy Studies, UCSF
  • 2013
    Humprey Oei Distinguished Lecture, National Cancer Centre, Singapore, July 19
  • 2014
    Helen Nahm Research Lecture Award, School of Nursing, UCSF
  • 2014
    Nursing Alumni/Mary Harms Endowed Chair
  • 2014
    Lifetime Achievement Award, Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs Section, American Public Health Association
  • 2019
    Jane Norbeck Distinguished Alumna Award, UCSF SON Alumni Association
  • 2020
    Mentor of the Year Award, graduating doctoral students, UCSF SON

Selected Publications

  1. McAfee T, Malone RE, Cataldo J. Ignoring our elders: tobacco control's forgotten health equity issue. Tob Control. 2021 Sep; 30(5):479-480.  View on PubMed
  2. Richard O'Connor, Sarah J Durkin, Joanna E Cohen, Joaquin Barnoya, Lisa Henriksen, Sarah E Hill, Ruth E Malone. Thoughts on neologisms and pleonasm in scientific discourse and tobacco control. Tobacco Control. 2021 Jun 18; 30(4):359-360.  View on PubMed
  3. Malone RE. Finding 'common ground' on shifting sands: observations on the conflicts over product regulation. Tob Control. 2021 03; 30(2):119-120.  View on PubMed
  4. Malone RE. The tobacco industry, 2020: a snapshot. Tob Control. 2020 12; 29(e1):e1-e3.  View on PubMed
  5. Smith EA, McDaniel PA, Malone RE. California advocates' perspectives on challenges and risks of advancing the tobacco endgame. J Public Health Policy. 2020 Sep; 41(3):321-333.  View on PubMed
  6. Malone RE, Yerger VB. GOOD TROUBLE. Tob Control. 2020 09; 29(5):481-482.  View on PubMed
  7. Malone RE, Hoek J. Political ineptitude, public anxiety and the undermining of the WHO. Tob Control. 2020 07; 29(4):361-362.  View on PubMed
  8. McDaniel PA, Malone RE. Tobacco industry and public health responses to state and local efforts to end tobacco sales from 1969-2020. PLoS One. 2020; 15(5):e0233417.  View on PubMed
  9. Malone RE. 2019 Reviewers of the Year: improving the quality of the journal and the field. Tob Control. 2020 01; 29(1):1-2.  View on PubMed
  10. Malone RE. 'Sustainable' tobacco industry? Tob Control. 2019 12; 28(e2):e85.  View on PubMed
  11. Malone RE. JUUL: beaten-down innovator or vicious bully? Tob Control. 2019 11; 28(6):597-598.  View on PubMed
  12. Smith EA, McDaniel PA, Malone RE. Leadership Perceptions of Endgame Strategies for Tobacco Control in California. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2019 Nov/Dec; 25(6):554-561.  View on PubMed
  13. Smith EA, Malone RE. An argument for phasing out sales of cigarettes. Tob Control. 2020 11; 29(6):703-708.  View on PubMed
  14. Malone RE. Tobacco industry shoving its snout under the UN tent flap. Tob Control. 2019 09; 28(5):479-480.  View on PubMed
  15. Forsyth SR, Malone RE. Tobacco Content in Video Games: Categorization of Tobacco Imagery and Gamer Recall. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 03 30; 21(4):532-538.  View on PubMed
  16. Forsyth SR, Malone RE. "Playing the Movie Directly": Perceptions of Tobacco Content in Video Games. Annu Rev Nurs Res. 2018 12; 36(1):27-45.  View on PubMed
  17. Malone RE. Reflections on a decade of editing Tobacco Control. Tob Control. 2018 11; 27(6):603.  View on PubMed
  18. Malone RE. Researching policy impacts. Tob Control. 2018 10; 27(e2):e96-e97.  View on PubMed
  19. van der Eijk Y, Bero LA, Malone RE. Philip Morris International-funded 'Foundation for a Smoke-Free World': analysing its claims of independence. Tob Control. 2019 11; 28(6):712-718.  View on PubMed
  20. Malone RE. Keeping tobacco cheap: how tobacco companies undermine government tax measures. Tob Control. 2018 09; 27(5):483.  View on PubMed

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