Public Health Seminar Series:

Challenges and Triumphs in Community-Engaged Health Disparities Research: Establishing the UC Merced Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center by Anna Song, Ph.D.

NOTICE: Note Special Location - Anteater Instruction and Research Building (AIRB) Room 1030

Monday, June 3, 2019 12:00pm - 1:00pm AIRB Room 1030 OCW Video Archive
Seminar Abstract

The new NICOTINE AND CANNABIS POLICY CENTER (NCPC) at UC Merced is the result of a $3.8 million grant from the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP), which began in August 2018. Dr. Anna Song, Associate Professor of Psychology and Public Health, is the Principal Investigator and Director of the NCPC. The new NCPC conducts research that enhances our understanding of tobacco & cannabis use, prevention and cessation, the social, economic and policy-related aspects of tobacco and cannabis use, along with related diseases in central California. All research will be conducted across 11 counties within the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) and in collaboration and partnership with the local communities (including organizations like Healthy House & AHA), with the aim of focusing on issues such as smoking bans, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, vaping, and marijuana use. The residents of the SJV and surrounding mountains are much more likely to use tobacco and other drugs, and suffer from more tobacco- and drug-related illnesses than residents of other parts of the state. They have also been generally overlooked and underserved. Therefore, the NCPC will help evaluate how much SJV residents are aware of and support existing tobacco and cannabis control policies. The results will then be used to develop achievable policy recommendations that work towards reducing tobacco-related diseases and deaths in this rural region of California. The NCPC will also engage local youth and ethnicities/cultural groups, and train them to serve as advocates for tobacco and cannabis control, helping bringing the center’s findings to their peers and local policymakers. The NCPC represents an extensive range of collaborations spanning different Californian universities, research disciplines, and community organizations at the national, state and local level and is an amazing addition to the UC Merced Campus. For additional information, please visit:

Speaker Biography - Anna Song, Ph.D.

Anna Song, Ph.D.
Anna Song, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Health Sciences Research Institute, UC Merced
Dr. Anna Song is a Health Psychologist whose major research focus is psychosocial epidemiology and health risk behaviors, including tobacco and cannabis use. Dr. Song is the Principal Investigator of a Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program award to establish the UC Merced NICOTINE AND CANNABIS POLICY CENTER (NCPC). Based on a decade of collective efforts to build community partnerships and academic resources, NCPC will conduct research that enhances our understanding of tobacco & cannabis use, prevention and cessation, the social, economic and policy-related aspects of tobacco and cannabis use in 11 counties of the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) and the Sierra Foothills. In her talk, Dr. Song will describe NCPC’s mission, its progress, and lessons learned about establishing a new community-engaged research center that is focused on critical health disparities in the community.

Seminars are FREE and open to the public. If you can not attend, Videotapes of Public Health seminars are archived through the UC Irvine OpenCourseWare program - please visit OpenCourseWare:

For updates, please refer to this web page:

Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.