Valerie Yerger, MA, ND

Title(s)Associate Professor, Social Behavioral Sciences
SchoolSchool of Nursing
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    American Legacy Foundation2012  - 2012Sybil G. Jacobs Award for Outstanding Use of Tobacco Industry Documents
    National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities2009  - 2010Health Disparities Scholar Award
    National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities2006  - 2008Health Disparities Scholar Award
    Bastyr University2004  - 2004Distinguished Alumni Award
    National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities2003  - 2005Health Disparities Scholar Award

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    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Valerie B. Yerger is an Associate Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences and in the Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education. Dr. Yerger, who is trained in naturopathic medicine and licensed in California as a naturopathic doctor, brings to the CTCRE a novel focus on tobacco usage as a social justice issue that disproportionately affects marginalized communities. Dr. Yerger incorporates tobacco industry documents research into her work. She has years of experience researching and analyzing tobacco documents, examining specifically the tobacco industry’s relationships with African American leadership groups and the tobacco companies’ marketing of menthol cigarettes in inner-city communities. Since 2004, Dr. Yerger has coordinated the CTCRE annual tobacco documents workshop. Since 2007, Dr. Yerger has successfully secured funding to offer diversity scholarships to tobacco control advocates from the generally under-represented communities, so they may travel to San Francisco to attend the workshop. Dr. Yerger initiated the research on melanin's potential role in nicotine exposure, nicotine dependence, and smoking behavior. Melanin is the primary determinant of skin color in human beings, and tissues containing melanin have been shown to accumulate nicotine. This is exciting research that has led to collaboration with other national and international investigators. Dr. Yerger's research interests also include investigating ways African Americans may increase their ability to quit smoking and remain tobacco-free by reframing tobacco and tobacco industry targeted marketing as social justice issues and utilizing a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach. Dr. Yerger is part of the UCSF team invited by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to search the Legacy tobacco documents archives for tobacco industry research on menthol cigarettes, leading to a number of publications in a special supplement of a leading specialty journal. Dr. Yerger provided expert testimony of the findings from this research to the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC), who then provided guidance to the FDA on the regulation of menthol in tobacco products.

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    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Keeler C, Max W, Yerger VB, Yao T, Wang Y, Ong MK, Sung HY. Effects of cigarette prices on intention to quit, quit attempts, and successful cessation among African American smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 Jul 18. PMID: 30032184.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Keeler C, Max W, Yerger V, Yao T, Ong MK, Sung HY. The Association of Menthol Cigarette Use With Quit Attempts, Successful Cessation, and Intention to Quit Across Racial/Ethnic Groups in the United States. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Nov 07; 19(12):1450-1464. PMID: 27613927.
      View in: PubMed
    3. King G, Moolchan ET, Bendel RB, Yerger VB. Tanning Capacity and Nicotine Dependence Among African Americans. J Natl Med Assoc. 2018 Aug; 110(4):358-366. PMID: 30126561.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Yao T, Ong MK, Max W, Keeler C, Wang Y, Yerger VB, Sung HY. Responsiveness to cigarette prices by different racial/ethnic groups of US adults. Tob Control. 2018 05; 27(3):301-309. PMID: 28747492.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Lempert LK, Yerger V, Glantz SA. Letter by Lempert et al Regarding Article, "Menthol and Nonmenthol Cigarette Smoking: All-Cause Deaths, Cardiovascular Disease Deaths, and Other Causes of Death Among Blacks and Whites". Circulation. 2016 Aug 30; 134(9):e119-20. PMID: 27572884.
      View in: PubMed
    6. McDaniel PA, Offen N, Yerger V, Forsyth S, Malone RE. "Tired of watching customers walk out the door because of the smoke": a content analysis of media coverage of voluntarily smokefree restaurants and bars. BMC Public Health. 2015 Aug 08; 15:761. PMID: 26253420; PMCID: PMC4529716.
    7. Battle RS, Cunradi CB, Moore RS, Yerger VB. Smoking cessation among transit workers: beliefs and perceptions among an at-risk occupational group. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2015 May 13; 10:19. PMID: 25962517; PMCID: PMC4488953.
    8. Yerger VB, Battle RS, Moore RS. Evaluating the implementation process of a citywide smoke-free multiunit housing ordinance: insights from community stakeholders. Am J Public Health. 2014 Oct; 104(10):1889-91. PMID: 25122026.
      View in: PubMed
    9. McDaniel PA, Offen N, Yerger VB, Malone RE. "A breath of fresh air worth spreading": media coverage of retailer abandonment of tobacco sales. Am J Public Health. 2014 Mar; 104(3):562-9. PMID: 24432885; PMCID: PMC3932821.
    10. Yerger VB, Cataldo JK, Malone RE. Older smokers could be the strongest supporters for U.S. government regulation of tobacco: a focus group study. Tob Induc Dis. 2013 Aug 17; 11(1):17. PMID: 23958397; PMCID: PMC3765155.
    11. Malone RE, McGruder C, Froelicher ES, Yerger VB. Being part of something: transformative outcomes of a community-based participatory study. Health Promot Pract. 2013 Mar; 14(2):205-12. PMID: 22773620.
      View in: PubMed
    12. McCandless PM, Yerger VB, Malone RE. Quid pro quo: tobacco companies and the black press. Am J Public Health. 2012 Apr; 102(4):739-50. PMID: 21852652; PMCID: PMC3362199.
    13. Yerger VB, McCandless PM. Menthol sensory qualities and smoking topography: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2011 May; 20 Suppl 2:ii37-43. PMID: 21504930.
      View in: PubMed
    14. Anderson SJ, McCandless PM, Klausner K, Taketa R, Yerger VB. Tobacco documents research methodology. Tob Control. 2011 May; 20 Suppl 2:ii8-11. PMID: 21504933.
      View in: PubMed
    15. Yerger VB. Menthol's potential effects on nicotine dependence: a tobacco industry perspective. Tob Control. 2011 May; 20 Suppl 2:ii29-36. PMID: 21504929.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Kreslake JM, Yerger VB. Tobacco industry knowledge of the role of menthol in chemosensory perception of tobacco smoke. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Dec; 12 Suppl 2:S98-101. PMID: 21177374.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Froelicher ES, Doolan D, Yerger VB, McGruder CO, Malone RE. Combining community participatory research with a randomized clinical trial: the Protecting the Hood Against Tobacco (PHAT) smoking cessation study. Heart Lung. 2010 Jan-Feb; 39(1):50-63. PMID: 20109986.
      View in: PubMed
    18. King G, Yerger VB, Whembolua GL, Bendel RB, Kittles R, Moolchan ET. Link between facultative melanin and tobacco use among African Americans. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Jun; 92(4):589-96. PMID: 19268687.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Yerger VB, Wertz M, McGruder C, Froelicher ES, Malone RE. Nicotine replacement therapy: perceptions of African-American smokers seeking to quit. J Natl Med Assoc. 2008 Feb; 100(2):230-6. PMID: 18300540.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Yerger VB, Przewoznik J, Malone RE. Racialized geography, corporate activity, and health disparities: tobacco industry targeting of inner cities. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2007 Nov; 18(4 Suppl):10-38. PMID: 18065850.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Malone RE, Yerger VB, McGruder C, Froelicher E. "It's like Tuskegee in reverse": a case study of ethical tensions in institutional review board review of community-based participatory research. Am J Public Health. 2006 Nov; 96(11):1914-9. PMID: 17018816; PMCID: PMC1751809.
    22. Yerger VB, Malone RE. Melanin and nicotine: A review of the literature. Nicotine Tob Res. 2006 Aug; 8(4):487-98. PMID: 16920646.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Yerger VB, Daniel MR, Malone RE. Taking it to the streets: responses of African American young adults to internal tobacco industry documents. Nicotine Tob Res. 2005 Feb; 7(1):163-72. PMID: 15804689.
      View in: PubMed
    24. Yerger VB, Malone RE. African American leadership groups: smoking with the enemy. Tob Control. 2002 Dec; 11(4):336-45. PMID: 12432159; PMCID: PMC1747674.
    25. Yerger V, Pearson C, Malone RE. When is a cigar not a cigar? African American youths' understanding of "cigar" use. Am J Public Health. 2001 Feb; 91(2):316-7. PMID: 11211649; PMCID: PMC1446530.
    26. Malone RE, Yerger V, Pearson C. Cigar risk perceptions in focus groups of urban African American youth. J Subst Abuse. 2001; 13(4):549-61. PMID: 11775082.
      View in: PubMed