A team of Public Health PhD students led by Andrea Lopez were recently selected as UC Merced's 2017-18 UC Smoke and Tobacco Free student fellows. With guidance from Professor Nancy Burke, Andrea and fellow graduate students Tashelle Wright and Jazmine Kenny will be accessing the attitudes and behaviors around e-cigarettes, and why young adults start using them. Andrea says “most people know traditional cigarettes are bad for their health, but they are less clear on new products like e-cigarettes.” In addition to their research, they will also participate in a systemwide curriculum on tobacco, tobacco control, new products and emerging intersections with other substances.
The fellowships are part of the UC Systemwide Smoke and Tobacco Free Task force, which is committed to help foster the next generation of leaders addressing smoking and maintain smoke and tobacco free environments. Tobacco related disease is still the number one killer of people in the world, US and California.