Valerie Yerger, ND

Title(s)Professor, Social Behavioral Sciences
SchoolSchool of Nursing
Address490 Illinois Street
San Francisco CA 94158
Phone415-476-2784
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California, San FranciscoFellowship06/2005Health Policy/Health Services Research
    Bastyr University, Seattle, WALM06/1993Midwifery/Natural Childbirth
    Bastyr University, Seattle, WAND06/1992Naturopathic Medicine
    John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, CAMA06/1985Clinical Holistic Health Educatiton
    University of California, BerkeleyBS06/1981Conservation of Natural Resources
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.2019  - 2020Inaugural Cohort of the National P.E.A.R.L. Program
    Society of Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Disparities Network2019  - 2019Exceptional Leadership Award
    Eric Garcetti, Mayor Los Angeles, CA2019  - 2019Certificate of Recognition
    Public Health Law Center, Mitchell Hamline School of Law2019  - 2019Game Changer
    U.S. Senator Kamala Harris2019  - 2019Phenomenal Woman Award
    Abundant Life Health Ministries Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Office2018  - 2018Exceptional Commitment to Community Engagement
    University of California, San Francisco2018  - 2018Chancellor Award for Public Service
    Tobacco Control Program, California Public Health Department2017  - 2017Carol M. Russell Award for Leadership and Vision in Tobacco Control
    Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, University of California Office of the President2015  - 2016Cornelius Hopper Diversity Award
    Black Student Health Alliance of UCSF2015  - 2015African Heritage Award
    Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, University of California Office of the President2013  - 2014Cornelius Hopper Diversity Award
    Truth Initiative2012  - 2012Sybil G. Jacobs Award for Outstanding Use of Tobacco Industry Documents
    National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities2003  - 2010Health Disparities Scholar Award
    Tobacco Related Disease Research Program, University of California Office of the President2008  - 2009Cornelius Hopper Diversity Award
    Bastyr University2004  - 2004Distinguished Alumni Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Valerie B. Yerger is trained as a naturopathic doctor and is a nationally acclaimed health policy researcher with unique training and expertise in community-based research and engagement, and mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the contribution of tobacco industry marketing and use of menthol cigarettes to the disproportionate smoking rates among African Americans. Dr. Yerger’s research activities have included searching tobacco industry document archives, conducting exploratory focus group studies, and collaborating with community partners in community-based participatory research projects.

    Her established research program focuses on framing the disproportionate burden of tobacco among marginalized communities as a social justice issue. Her research of previously secret tobacco documents uncovered 1) the tobacco industry’s relationships with African American leadership groups, 2) the accumulation of nicotine in tissues containing melanin, 3) the disproportionate marketing of menthol cigarettes in inner-city communities, and 4) tobacco companies’ in-house research on the use of menthol as a flavor additive in cigarettes. The goal of her research program is to expose the tobacco industry targeting of marginalized communities and inform public health policies that effectively reach these communities. To accomplish this goal, she combines her experience collecting and analyzing qualitative data, while building community partnerships.

    Since 2010 Dr. Yerger has participated in a number of initiatives related to menthol cigarettes and other flavored tobacco products. As the focus on regulating these products has shifted from the federal level (US Food and Drug Administration) to local and state efforts, Dr. Yerger has been sought to help educate the constituents and key stakeholders in many, if not most, of these jurisdictions.

    In 2014, Dr. Yerger assumed the leadership and responsibility of the California Tobacco Control Program’s (CTCP) “Capacity Building Network” and rebranded it as “The LOOP.” Located at UCSF, The LOOP is a centralized one-stop delivery system that delivers several services for CTCP funded projects, including trainings, “tailored assistance,” and e-blast newsletters designed to increase the competencies, confidence, and abilities of CTCP grantees and their community partners to expand their reach and service to California’s priority populations.
    Collapse Websites

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    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. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Flavored Tobacco Product Use Among Young Adults by Race and Ethnicity: Evidence From the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study. J Adolesc Health. 2022 08; 71(2):226-232. Watkins SL, Pieper F, Chaffee BW, Yerger VB, Ling PM, Max W. PMID: 35550331.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    2. Tobacco industry: a barrier to social justice. Tob Control. 2022 03; 31(2):352-354. Romeo-Stuppy K, Huber L, Toebes B, Yerger V, Senkubuge F. PMID: 35241611.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. A qualitative assessment of the perceptions and attitudes towards commercial tobacco policies and education among tribal communities in California. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2022 01 02; 48(1):49-57. Soto C, Ramos G, Martinez D, Moerner L, Salinas E, Battle R, Yerger V. PMID: 34670446.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    4. What more evidence is needed? Remove menthol cigarettes from the marketplace-now. Tob Control. 2022 07; 31(4):493-494. Yerger V. PMID: 34535506.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    5. The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council: Advocating for a menthol cigarette ban in San Francisco, California. Tob Control. 2021 12; 30(e2):e150-e153. Mills SD, McGruder CO, Yerger VB. PMID: 33483378.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    6. GOOD TROUBLE. Tob Control. 2020 09; 29(5):481-482. Malone RE, Yerger VB. PMID: 32843535.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    7. Effects of Cigarette Prices on Intention to Quit, Quit Attempts, and Successful Cessation Among African American Smokers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 04 17; 22(4):522-531. Keeler C, Max W, Yerger VB, Yao T, Wang Y, Ong MK, Sung HY. PMID: 30032184.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Subsequent Academic Performance Among U.S. Youth. Am J Prev Med. 2020 06; 58(6):776-782. Choi K, Chen-Sankey JC, Merianos AL, McGruder C, Yerger V. PMID: 32147368; PMCID: PMC7246157.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    9. 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. Keeler C, Max W, Yerger V, Yao T, Ong MK, Sung HY. PMID: 27613927; PMCID: PMC6251684.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 24     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    10. Tanning Capacity and Nicotine Dependence Among African Americans. J Natl Med Assoc. 2018 Aug; 110(4):358-366. King G, Moolchan ET, Bendel RB, Yerger VB. PMID: 30126561.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    11. Responsiveness to cigarette prices by different racial/ethnic groups of US adults. Tob Control. 2018 05; 27(3):301-309. Yao T, Ong MK, Max W, Keeler C, Wang Y, Yerger VB, Sung HY. PMID: 28747492.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    12. 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. Lempert LK, Yerger V, Glantz SA. PMID: 27572884.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    13. "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. McDaniel PA, Offen N, Yerger V, Forsyth S, Malone RE. PMID: 26253420; PMCID: PMC4529716.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    14. Smoking, Work Stress, and Barriers to Participation in HMO Smoking Cessation Treatment Among Transit Workers: Focus Group Results. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health. 2015 Jul 3; 30(3):272-286. Cunradi CC, Moore MR, Battle BR, Yerger YV. .
      View in: Publisher Site   Mentions:
    15. Smoking cessation among transit workers: beliefs and perceptions among an at-risk occupational group. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy. 2015 May 13; 10:19. Battle RS, Cunradi CB, Moore RS, Yerger VB. PMID: 25962517; PMCID: PMC4488953.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    16. 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. Yerger VB, Battle RS, Moore RS. PMID: 25122026; PMCID: PMC4167097.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    17. "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. McDaniel PA, Offen N, Yerger VB, Malone RE. PMID: 24432885; PMCID: PMC3932821.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    18. 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. Yerger VB, Cataldo JK, Malone RE. PMID: 23958397; PMCID: PMC3765155.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    19. Being part of something: transformative outcomes of a community-based participatory study. Health Promot Pract. 2013 Mar; 14(2):205-12. Malone RE, McGruder C, Froelicher ES, Yerger VB. PMID: 22773620.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    20. Quid pro quo: tobacco companies and the black press. Am J Public Health. 2012 Apr; 102(4):739-50. McCandless PM, Yerger VB, Malone RE. PMID: 21852652; PMCID: PMC3362199.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    21. Menthol sensory qualities and smoking topography: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2011 May; 20 Suppl 2:ii37-43. Yerger VB, McCandless PM. PMID: 21504930; PMCID: PMC3088462.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    22. Tobacco documents research methodology. Tob Control. 2011 May; 20 Suppl 2:ii8-11. Anderson SJ, McCandless PM, Klausner K, Taketa R, Yerger VB. PMID: 21504933; PMCID: PMC3085001.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 40     Fields:    
    23. Menthol's potential effects on nicotine dependence: a tobacco industry perspective. Tob Control. 2011 May; 20 Suppl 2:ii29-36. Yerger VB. PMID: 21504929; PMCID: PMC3088468.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 29     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    24. Tobacco industry knowledge of the role of menthol in chemosensory perception of tobacco smoke. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Dec; 12 Suppl 2:S98-101. Kreslake JM, Yerger VB. PMID: 21177374.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 11     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    25. 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. Froelicher ES, Doolan D, Yerger VB, McGruder CO, Malone RE. PMID: 20109986.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    26. Link between facultative melanin and tobacco use among African Americans. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2009 Jun; 92(4):589-96. King G, Yerger VB, Whembolua GL, Bendel RB, Kittles R, Moolchan ET. PMID: 19268687.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 9     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    27. Nicotine replacement therapy: perceptions of African-American smokers seeking to quit. J Natl Med Assoc. 2008 Feb; 100(2):230-6. Yerger VB, Wertz M, McGruder C, Froelicher ES, Malone RE. PMID: 18300540.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    28. 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. Yerger VB, Przewoznik J, Malone RE. PMID: 18065850.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 87     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    29. "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. Malone RE, Yerger VB, McGruder C, Froelicher E. PMID: 17018816; PMCID: PMC1751809.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansPHPublic Health
    30. Melanin and nicotine: A review of the literature. Nicotine Tob Res. 2006 Aug; 8(4):487-98. Yerger VB, Malone RE. PMID: 16920646.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 18     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
    31. 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. Yerger VB, Daniel MR, Malone RE. PMID: 15804689.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. African American leadership groups: smoking with the enemy. Tob Control. 2002 Dec; 11(4):336-45. Yerger VB, Malone RE. PMID: 12432159; PMCID: PMC1747674.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 53     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    33. When is a cigar not a cigar? African American youths' understanding of "cigar" use. Am J Public Health. 2001 Feb; 91(2):316-7. Yerger V, Pearson C, Malone RE. PMID: 11211649; PMCID: PMC1446530.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 29     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    34. Cigar risk perceptions in focus groups of urban African American youth. J Subst Abuse. 2001; 13(4):549-61. Malone RE, Yerger V, Pearson C. PMID: 11775082.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 48     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
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