The proposed research contributes to Tobacco Regulatory Science by connecting (1) tobacco marketing features with (2) consumer affective, cognitive and physiological response to marketing images and (3) tobacco product perceptions and use outcomes in ethnically diverse populations (African American, Asian American, Latino and non-Hispanic white). By identifying key features of tobacco marketing (e.g. colors, descriptors, branding, marketing claims) that optimize consumer response to the marketing and ultimately connecting that to tobacco use outcomes over time, this project adds to the evidence base used to regulate tobacco marketing. This project will provide a comprehensive description of the tobacco marketing landscape and an inventory of 'high impact'tobacco marketing features that produce inequitable outcomes in tobacco use. Additionally, by examining consumers'affective, cognitive and physiologic response to ads, this project will illuminate the underlying mechanisms through which these marketing features operate.
The aims of this project are to: (1) describe key features of tobacco marketing targeted towards (a) African Americans, (b) Asian Americans, (c) Latinos (including Mexican Americans, Cubans and Puerto Ricans) and (d) non-Hispanic whites;(2) identify how marketing features impact response to ads for Latinos and Latino subgroups;and (3) for each ethnic group, demonstrate how tobacco product use is initiated and changes as a result of awareness of advertising and having a favorite ad and identify marketing features associated with tobacco product use. To accomplish these aims, the proposed research leverages the infrastructures of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study and the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), linking ad-level data from a PATH ad-hoc study that content codes tobacco marketing images with longitudinal PATH data and conducting an ancillary study to the HCHS/SOL assessing self-report and physiological response to tobacco ads. To execute these aims, I will work with a team of mentors who are internationally known scholars. Dr. John Elder, Professor in the Graduate School of Public Health at San Diego State University will be my primary mentor;Dr. John Pierce, Professor in the Department of Family &Preventive Medicine and Moores Cancer Center at UC-San Diego and a lead investigator on the PATH study and Dr. Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California and Project Leader on the USC Tobacco Center of Regulatory Sciences (P50) will be secondary mentors. This training will provide me with expertise in longitudinal, epidemiological study design, management and analysis, tobacco use health disparities, tobacco regulatory policy and physiological measurement of ad response. This will facilitate my integration into the Tobacco Regulatory Science community and allow me to achieve my long-term career goal of becoming an independent, leading investigator and expert in Tobacco Regulatory Science with a specific focus on communication-based research.

Public Health Relevance

This project impacts public health by providing knowledge necessary for the effective regulation of tobacco marketing. By linking specific features of tobacco marketing (e.g. colors, marketing claims, descriptors, branding) to consumers'response to ads and their tobacco product perceptions and use behaviors, this work provides the FDA with insight into how specifically tobacco marketing produces inequitable tobacco use outcomes. Ultimately, this will facilitate tobacco marketing regulations that will result in lower rates of tobacco use and disease and death associated with tobacco use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Kimmel, Heather L
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
San Diego State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Diego
United States
Zip Code
Soneji, Samir; Yang, JaeWon; Moran, Meghan Bridgid et al. (2018) Engagement with Online Tobacco Marketing Among Adolescents in the US: 2013-2014 to 2014-2015. Nicotine Tob Res :
Choi, Kelvin; Chen, Julia Cen; Tan, Andy S L et al. (2018) Receipt of tobacco direct mail/email discount coupons and trajectories of cigarette smoking behaviours in a nationally representative longitudinal cohort of US adults. Tob Control :
Soneji, Samir; Yang, JaeWon; Knutzen, Kristin E et al. (2018) Online Tobacco Marketing and Subsequent Tobacco Use. Pediatrics 141:
Moran, Meghan B; Walker, Matthew W; Alexander, Tesfa N et al. (2017) Why Peer Crowds Matter: Incorporating Youth Subcultures and Values in Health Education Campaigns. Am J Public Health 107:389-395
Moran, Meghan Bridgid; Pierce, John P; Weiger, Caitlin et al. (2017) Use of imagery and text that could convey reduced harm in American Spirit advertisements. Tob Control 26:e68-e70
Moran, Meghan Bridgid; Heley, Kathryn; Pierce, John P et al. (2017) Ethnic and Socioeconomic Disparities in Recalled Exposure to and Self-Reported Impact of Tobacco Marketing and Promotions. Health Commun :1-10
Moran, Meghan Bridgid; Frank, Lauren B; Chatterjee, Joyee S et al. (2016) A pilot test of the acceptability and efficacy of narrative and non-narrative health education materials in a low health literacy population. J Commun Healthc 9:40-48
Moran, Meghan Bridgid; Frank, Lauren B; Chatterjee, Joyee S et al. (2016) Information scanning and vaccine safety concerns among African American, Mexican American, and non-Hispanic White women. Patient Educ Couns 99:147-53
Mays, Darren; Moran, Meghan B; Levy, David T et al. (2016) The Impact of Health Warning Labels for Swedish Snus Advertisements on Young Adults' Snus Perceptions and Behavioral Intentions. Nicotine Tob Res 18:1371-5
Moran, Meghan Bridgid; Sussman, Steve (2015) Changing attitudes toward smoking and smoking susceptibility through peer crowd targeting: more evidence from a controlled study. Health Commun 30:521-4

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications