Doctor of Philosophy, University of California Merced (2016)
Master of Arts, California State Univ, Stanislaus (2013)
Bachelor of Arts, University of California Berkeley (2002)
Dual-process theories may be effective at predicting adolescent smoking; however, little is known about the effectiveness of these models across race/ethnicity and gender. Adolescents ( N = 4035) completed biopsychosocial and tobacco-related perception measures in Grade 7 and reported on smoking initiation in Grade 10. Using structural equation modeling and comparing models by gender and race/ethnicity showed differences, where both intentions and willingness predicted smoking initiation for only Black and male adolescents, compared to their Latino and White and female counterparts. Intentions and willingness appear to play a role in whether an adolescent will initiate smoking in the future, but this does not apply universally across gender and race/ethnicity.
View details for PubMedID 30773937
Introduction: American Spirit cigarettes feature American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) imagery in the branding, are marketed as environmentally friendly, without additives, and four varieties contain organic tobacco. This study is the first to examine retail price of American Spirit relative to other cigarette brands and to assess how its price varies by neighborhood demography.Methods: In a random sample of licensed tobacco retailers (n=1277), trained data collectors recorded availability and price of American Spirit, Pall Mall, Newport, Marlboro and the cheapest cigarettes regardless of brand. Data were collected in January-March 2017 in California, the state with the largest AI/AN population. Paired t-tests assessed prices (before sales tax) of American Spirit relative to others. Ordinary least squares regressions modeled prices as a function of neighborhood demography, adjusting for store type.Results: American Spirit was sold in 77% of stores at an average price of $7.03 (SD=0.66), which was $0.75 to $1.78 (12.0% to 34.4%) higher than Pall Mall, Newport, and Marlboro in the same stores. American Spirit cost significantly less in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of school-age residents, however this pattern was not unique to that brand. Contrary to expectation, American Spirit did not cost less in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of AI/ANs.Conclusion: This study is the first to document lower prices for American Spirit in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of school-age youth. Future research should consider whether the ultra-premium price of American Spirit contributes to misperceptions that the brand is organic and less harmful than other cigarettes.Implications: In a large random sample of licensed tobacco retailers in California, American Spirit cost significantly more than other brands,12.0% to 34.4% more than Pall Mall, Newport, and Marlboro in the same stores.After controlling for store type, American Spirit price was significantly lower in neighborhoods with a higher proportion of school-age residents. Research about how an ultra-premium price contributes to misperceptions that all American Spirit varieties are organic and the brand is less harmful, less addictive than other cigarette brands would be informative for ongoing litigation and product regulation.
View details for PubMedID 30759248
BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of this investigation was to identify which design elements on Natural American Spirit packs are salient to (i.e., noticed by) U.S. adult smokers and what meanings smokers derive from these elements.METHOD: We conducted a secondary analysis of qualitative data from a study of cigarette packaging design. U.S. adult smokers ( n = 33) from all nine census regions participated in six telephone-based focus groups in March 2017. We used constant comparison analysis to identify key themes.RESULTS: Four themes were identified, two focused on salient design elements and two focused on design element meanings. The themes of "bright and flashy color" and "the American Indian logo" were identified as key design elements, while the themes of "healthy and safer" and "targeting at-risk smokers" were identified as meanings smokers derived from design elements.CONCLUSIONS: Pack design elements influence smokers' perceptions about reduced health risk of Natural American Spirit cigarettes and may be especially dangerous to vulnerable populations, including young adults and American Indians. Findings from this study suggest that the banning of text descriptors may not be enough to address misconceptions about "healthier" cigarettes.
View details for PubMedID 30606071
INTRODUCTION: Little is known about how incentives may encourage low income smokers to call for quitline services. This study evaluates the impact of outreach through health channels on California Medicaid (Medi-Cal) quitline caller characteristics, trends, and reach.STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal study.SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: Medi-Cal quitline callers.INTERVENTION: Statewide outreach was conducted with health providers, Medi-Cal plans (all-household mailings with tracking codes), and public health organizations (March 2012-July 2015). For incentives, Medi-Cal callers could ask for a $20 gift card; in September 2013, callers were offered free nicotine patches.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Caller characteristics were compared with chi-square analyses, joinpoint analysis of call trends was performed accounting for Medi-Cal population growth, referral source among Medi-Cal and non-Medi-Cal callers was documented, and the annual percentage of the population reached who called the Helpline was calculated. Analyses were conducted 2016-2018.RESULTS: Total Medi-Cal callers were 92,900, a 70% increase from prior annual averages: 12.4% asked for the financial incentive, 17.3% reported the mailing code, and 73.3% received nicotine patches while offered. Among the two thirds of callers who completed counseling, 15.5% asked for the financial incentive, and 13.6% reported the mailing code. A joinpoint analysis showed call trends increased 23% above expected for the Medi-Cal population growth after mailings to providers and members began, and decreased after outreach ended. Annual reach increased from 2.3% (95% CI=2.1, 2.6) in 2011 to peak at 4.5% (95% CI=3.6, 5.3) in 2014. Among subgroups with higher reach rates, some also had higher rates of asking for the financial incentive (African Americans, American Indian), reporting the tracking code (whites), or both (aged 45-64 years). Medi-Cal callers were more likely than non-Medi-Cal callers to report providers (32.3% vs 23.8%) and plans (19.7% vs 1.4%) as their referral source, and less likely to cite media (20.2% vs 44.4%, p<0.001).CONCLUSIONS: Statewide outreach through health channels incentivizing Medi-Cal members increased the utilization and reach of quitline services.SUPPLEMENT INFORMATION: This article is part of a supplement entitled Advancing Smoking Cessation in California's Medicaid Population, which is sponsored by the California Department of Public Health.
View details for PubMedID 30454670
BACKGROUND: Research suggests that an immigrant paradox exists where those who were not born in the United States (1st generation) have significantly better health than those who were born in the U.S. (2nd generation or more). The aim of the current study was to examine the immigrant paradox with respect to tobacco-related perceptions and parenting influences in smoking initiation among Latinx adolescents.METHODS: Data came from the 7th and 10th grade Healthy Passages assessments of Latinx participants in three U.S. urban areas (N=1536) who were first (18%), second (60%), and third (22%) generation. In addition to demographics, measures included perceived cigarette availability and peer smoking, intentions and willingness to smoke, and general monitoring by parents. Parents reported on generational status and their own tobacco use. The primary outcome was participant's reported use of cigarettes.RESULTS: By 10th grade, 31% of Latinx youth had tried a cigarette, compared to 8% in 7th grade. After controlling for age, gender, and socioeconomic status, regression analyses indicated that there were no significant differences related to generational status in cigarette smoking initiation in either 7th or 10th grade. Youth tobacco-related perceptions, general parental monitoring, and parental tobacco use predicted Latinx adolescent cigarette use initiation by 10th grade.CONCLUSIONS: Latinx adolescents might not have deferential smoking rates based on generation status, suggesting that the immigrant paradox concept may not hold for smoking initiation among Latinx adolescents. Rather, factors influencing cigarette initiation generally in adolescents as a group appear to apply to Latinxs as well.
View details for PubMedID 30501626
BACKGROUND: Tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases disproportionately affect Alaska Native (AN) people. Using telemedicine, this study aims to identify culturally-tailored, theoretically-driven, efficacious interventions for tobacco use and other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk behaviors among AN people in remote areas.DESIGN: Randomized clinical trial with two intervention arms: 1) tobacco and physical activity; 2) medication adherence and a heart-healthy AN diet.PARTICIPANTS: Participants are N = 300 AN men and women current smokers with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.INTERVENTIONS: All participants receive motivational, stage-tailored, telemedicine-delivered counseling sessions at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 months follow-up; an individualized behavior change plan that is updated at each contact; and a behavior change manual. In Group 1, the focus is on tobacco and physical activity; a pedometer is provided and nicotine replacement therapy is offered. In Group 2, the focus is on medication adherence for treating hypertension and/or hypercholesterolemia; a medication bag and traditional food guide are provided.MEASUREMENTS: With assessments at baseline, 3, 6, 12, and 18 months, the primary outcome is smoking status, assessed as 7-day point prevalence abstinence, biochemically verified with urine anabasine. Secondary outcomes include physical activity, blood pressure and cholesterol, medication compliance, diet, multiple risk behavior change indices, and cost-effectiveness.COMMENTS: The current study has the potential to identify novel, feasible, acceptable, and efficacious interventions for treating the co-occurrence of CVD risk factors in AN people. Findings may inform personalized treatment and the development of effective and cost-effective intervention strategies for use in remote indigenous communities more broadly. Clinical Trial Registration # NCT02137902.
View details for PubMedID 29864548
This aim of this study was to examine whether the construct of physical appearance perception differed among the three largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States using an adolescent sample.Black (46%), Latino (31%), and White (23%) adolescents in Grade 10 from the Healthy Passages study ( N = 4,005) completed the Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents-Physical Appearance Scale (SPPA-PA) as a measure of physical appearance perception.Overall, Black adolescents had a more positive self-perception of their physical appearance than Latino and White adolescents. However, further analysis using measurement invariance testing revealed that the construct of physical appearance perception, as measured by SPPA-PA, was not comparable across the three racial/ethnic groups in both males and females.These results suggest that observed differences may not reflect true differences in perceptions of physical appearance. Measures that are equivalent across racial/ethnic groups should be developed to ensure more precise measurement and understanding.
View details for DOI 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw047
View details for PubMedID 27257099
Little is known about influences on weight loss attempts, yet about one-half report making such attempts during adolescence. The aim was to examine the relationships among weight loss attempts, body size, and body perception in racially/ethnically diverse young adolescents.3,954 African American, Latino, and White 5th-graders completed the Self-Perception Profile-Physical Appearance Scale and questions regarding body perceptions and past and current weight loss attempts, and had their weight and height measured.Latino youth most often and White youth least often reported weight loss attempts. Larger body size and negative body perception were related to more reported weight loss attempts in White and Latino youth. Body perception mediated the relationship between body size and weight loss attempts for White youth.Motivations to lose weight appear to differ among racial/ethnic groups, suggesting that interventions for healthy weight control in youth may need to target racial/ethnic groups differently.
View details for DOI 10.1093/jpepsy/jst096
View details for Web of Science ID 000336206900002
View details for PubMedID 24424440