Our Mission
To engage in scientific research and educational training on the risk and prevention of disease as well as the promotion of health. The long-term goal is to reduce disease risk, eliminate disparities, and to improve the health of diverse populations by: (a) increasing understanding of the epidemiology, determinants, and consequences of disease; (b) conducting field trials to develop and test evidence-based prevention programs; and (c) disseminating model health promotion and disease prevention programs in national and global settings.
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IPR News

Cigarette and E-Cigarette Retail Marketing on and Near California Tribal Lands

Retail settings are major channels for the tobacco industry to market commercial tobacco products. However, few studies have examined marketing strategies on Tribal lands. The resulting evidence is important, especially given that American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth and adults have the highest smoking prevalence of any racial/ethnic group in the United States. In this study, we examined cigarette, e-cigarette, and vape/vaporizer availability, advertising, and price-reducing promotions in retail settings on and within a 1-mile radius of Tribal lands in California. Method. Trained AI/AN community health representatives (n = 8) conducted store observations (n = 96) using a checklist adapted from the Standardized Tobacco Assessment for Retail Settings observation tool. Chi-square analyses were performed to look for potential differences in availability, exterior advertising, and price promotions for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and vapes between stores…

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IPR Spotlight

Chris is a first year PhD student in the Health Behavior Research program. He earned his MPH in Applied Epidemiology from California State University, Northridge. He is currently working with Dr. Jenifer Unger, seeking to inform policy decisions related to tobacco and marijuana use, with current projects assessing the effects of adverse childhood experiences, financial strain, and discrimination. Because of his background as an Emergency Medical Technician, Chris also works with data related to prehospital care policy and emergency preparedness and is working to identify knowledge gaps related to children with special health care needs.

Anuja Majmundar is a third-year USC Provost predoctoral fellow in the Health Behavior Research program. She received her M.B.A. in Communication Management from Symbiosis International University, India and M.A. in Communication from San Diego State University, U.S.A. She is interested in using her multidisciplinary background to investigate ways in which technology and media inform and influence health behaviors and policies. Anuja’s current work is focused on developing tools using machine learning and big data science to address health problems at scale. Her research interests leverage her multidisciplinary collaborations and several years of experience in international food and tobacco marketing research.

Maria is a second-year doctoral student in the Health Behavior Research program. She graduated from the University of Florida in May 2016 with a B.S in psychology and B.A in anthropology. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research assistant in a variety of psychology labs that researched anxiety disorders, life satisfaction, depression, substance abuse, and more, gaining an appreciation for the many different research areas within the field of psychology.

Working under her mentor Dr. Steve Sussman, Maria is currently researching addictions, as well as conducting fieldwork in vape shops across Los Angeles. Recently, she has taken an interest in studying opioid addiction and the national opioid crisis. She hopes to increase awareness of the impact of addiction on well-being and mental health. Specifically, she is interested in investigating how interpersonal factors
affect the etiology and treatment of addiction, as well as co-morbidity between substance abuse disorders and other mental health issues.

Kiana Rowshan is a first-year MPH student in the Global Health Policy program. She received her B.A. in Biochemistry from Occidental College. She is interested in issues pertaining to global health medicine, reproductive health among young women and tobacco control. Upon completion of her degree, her goal is to go medical school and hopefully be able to continue her work in public health realm, while assisting with the development of effective health promotion and disease prevention programs.