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Arnold School of Public Health


Active Research

International food policy study: Evaluating the impact of food labelling, marketing, and fiscal nutrition policies.

Marketing of unhealthy foods can promote obesity and non-communicable disease.  Countries have restricted food marketing in contrasting ways, yet little is known about the effectiveness of marketing restriction policies.  The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of national level food policies on dietary behaviors between and within countries.

Research activities:   From 2018 – 2024, we are conducting annual cross-sectional surveys of approximately 4,500 adults in Australia, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, the United States.

Funding Agency: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Project Grant (PI Hammond)

People: Jim Thrasher (Co-Investigator), Rachel Davis, Gabriela Armendariz, Yoojin Cho, Emily Loud, Adebusola Ogunnaike

Completed Research (Selected Projects)

Cinema smoking and youth smoking in Latin America

This project extended research led by our team, which was the first to examine associations between exposure to tobacco imagery in films and youth smoking in low- or middle-income countries.  In particular, our project built research capacity to characterize tobacco, sex, and alcohol content in nationally-produced films in Mexico and Argentina, finding that tobacco use was much more prevalent than in US-produced films.  Through longitudinal surveys with middle schoolers in each country, we found that youth with greater exposure to tobacco and alcohol were more likely to engage in those behaviors.  Our research in this area informed WHO policy recommendations, including the 2015 SmokeFree Movies report and recommendations to countries about how to address tobacco imagery in entertainment media.

Funding agency:  Fogarty International Center & NCI/NIH (PIs, JF Thrasher & JD Sargent, R01 TW009274)

Dates:  08/2012 – 07/2018

People: Jim Thrasher (PI), James Hardin (Co-Investigator), Farahnaz Islam, Edna Arillo-Santillán, Inti Barrientos.


Diversity Supplement – “Cinema Smoking and Youth Smoking in Latin America”

This project integrated a Latina Early Stage Investigator (Dr. Lorenzo-Blanco, Assistant Professor of Psychology) into the parent project, so that she could expand her research on acculturation in the US to study how “remote” acculturation through exposure to English language media influences smoking amongst Mexican youth.  She has since received a K01 award to build her skills in substance use interventions for US Latinxs.

Funding agency:  Fogarty International Center & NCI/NIH (PIs, JF Thrasher & JD Sargent, R01 TW009274-S1)

Dates: 08/2015 - 07/2018

People: Jim Thrasher (PI), James Hardin (Co-Investigator), Edna Arillo-Santillán, Inti Barrientos.

Predicting menthol cigarette and flavored cigar smokers’ responses to menthol or flavored tobacco restrictions: Results from experimental auctions

This project used experimental auctions to estimate demand among flavored tobacco product users for diverse flavored and unflavored products (e.g., cigarettes, little cigars, e-cigarettes, nicotine gum) under different policy restriction scenarios.

Funding agency: National Cancer Institute/NIH (PI S Rose, R03 CA219737)

Dates: 07/2017 – 04/2019

People: Jim Thrasher (Co-Investigator)

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.