Cheryl Healton

Cheryl Healton
Cheryl Healton

Dean of College of Global Public Health

Professor of Public Health Policy and Management

Professional overview

Dr. Cheryl Healton is responsible for building the College of Global Public Health’s academic, service, and research programs, which focus on domestic and international health with an emphasis on prevention, systems intervention, and innovation in public health practice.

Previously, as the founding President and CEO of Legacy – a leading organization dedicated to tobacco control – Dr. Healton worked to further the foundation’s mission: to build a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. During her time with Legacy, she guided the national youth tobacco prevention counter-marketing campaign, truth®, which has been credited with reducing youth smoking prevalence to near record lows. Legacy launched a national smoking cessation campaign, public education campaigns, technical assistance, and a broad program of grant making. Additionally, Legacy established the Steven A. Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Studies.

Prior to Legacy, Dr. Healton held numerous roles at Columbia University, worked to expand the scope of public health programs, and undertook innovative educational initiatives to advance public health practice.  

Through her research, she has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and special reports on public health related topics including HIV/AIDS, public health education, health policy, substance abuse, and tobacco. She was the founding chair of the Public Health Practice Council of the Association of Schools of Public Health and is an active member of the public health community, serving on the National Board of Public Health Examiners, the Betty Ford Institute, and Lung Cancer Alliance. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, and the Board of Directors at HealthRight International.

Dr. Healton has given presentations around the world and is a frequent commentator on national and local broadcasts and print news coverage of tobacco control issues.

Education

MPA, Health Policy and Planning, New York University, New York, NY
DrPH, Sociomedical Sciences (with distinction), Columbia University, New York, NY

Areas of research and study

Public Health Policy
Tobacco Control

Publications

Publications

Pedagogical Scholarship in Public Health: A Call for Cultivating Learning Communities to Support Evidence-Based Education

Merzel, C., Halkitis, P., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2017

Journal title

Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974)

Volume

132

Issue

6

Page(s)

679-683
Abstract
Public health education is experiencing record growth and transformation. The current emphasis on learning outcomes necessitates attention to creating and evaluating the best curricula and learning methods for helping public health students develop public health competencies. Schools and programs of public health would benefit from active engagement in pedagogical research and additional platforms to support dissemination and implementation of educational research findings. We reviewed current avenues for sharing public health educational research, curricula, and best teaching practices; we identified useful models from other health professions; and we offered suggestions for how the field of public health education can develop communities of learning devoted to supporting pedagogy. Our goal was to help advance an agenda of innovative evidence-based public health education, enabling schools and programs of public health to evaluate and measure success in meeting the current and future needs of the public health profession.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul with our Lives, Huffington

Healton, C., & El-Mohandes, A.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

The Huffington Post

To be ready for Ebola, hospitals need proper equipment, training and a plan

Healton, C., & Ogedegbe, O.

Publication year

2015

Journal title

The Huffington Post

Tobacco control since the 1964 Surgeon General's Report: Reflecting back and looking forward

Mulshine, J. L., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

ONCOLOGY (United States)

Volume

28

Issue

3

What would it really take to halt Ebola and prevent future epidemics?

Healton, C., & Dickey, C.

Publication year

2014

Journal title

The Huffington Post

Public attitudes regarding banning of cigarettes and regulation of nicotine

Connolly, G. N., Behm, I., Healton, C. G., & Alpert, H. R.

Publication year

2012

Journal title

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

102

Issue

4
Abstract
Knowledge of current public opinion is important as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) applies the best scientific evidence available to tobacco product regulation. Based on a nationally representative survey of the US adult population, we report 43% support for banning of cigarettes, 65% for reducing nicotine, and 77% for reducing nicotine if such an action could cause fewer children to become addicted to cigarettes. The FDA should consider protecting children by removing all but nonaddictive cigarettes from the marketplace.

Who will deliver on the promise?

Northridge, M. E., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2012

Journal title

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

102

Issue

1

Page(s)

17-21
Abstract
The Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Core CompetencyModel aspires to rigorously train future leaders of public health practice to direct and advance societal efforts that address socially rooted causes of health and illness. Although there is no proven formula for success, 3 principles derived from practice may guide the way forward: (1) institutionalize mutual learning and reciprocity between schools of public health and public health agencies and organizations, (2) capitalize on the full resources of the larger university to enrich the educational experiences of DrPH candidates and public health leaders, and (3) globalize the search for model DrPH programs that may be adapted for US schools. Schools of public health must ensure that DrPH programs gain the status and resources needed to fulfill their societal mandate.

Butt really? The environmental impact of cigarettes

Healton, C. G., Michael Cummings, K., O’Connor, R. J., & Novotny, T. E.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

20

Issue

1

Page(s)

1

Depictions of tobacco use in 2007 broadcast television programming popular among US youth

Cullen, J., Sokol, N. A., Slawek, D., Allen, J. A., Vallone, D., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Volume

165

Issue

2

Page(s)

147-151
Abstract
Objectives: To determine the quantity of tobacco use in network television programming popular among US youth and to examine variation in tobacco depictions by TV Parental Guidelines system rating and television network. Design: A content analysis was conducted of broadcast network television programming popular among youth. Nielsen viewership rating data were used to identify a sample of top-rated television series for youth aged 12 to 17 years during the fall 2007 television season. Depictions of tobacco use per television episode were examined by TV Parental Guidelines rating and television network. χ2 testing was used to examine differences in proportions of tobacco depictions across television episode ratings and networks. Setting: Data collection and analysis were conducted at the American Legacy Foundation (now known as Legacy). Subjects: Broadcast television viewers in 2007. Main Outcome Measure: Tobacco use depictions on broadcast television were examined. Results: Forty percent of television episodes examined had at least 1 depiction of tobacco use. Of these depictions, 89% were of cigarettes. Among episodes rated TV-PG (ie, parental guidance suggested) (N=73), 50% showed 1 or more incidents of cigarette use, in contrast to 26% of TV-14 (ie, parents strongly cautioned) episodes. The percentage of episodes with any tobacco use depictions was highest on the FOX network (44%; n=32), followed closely by The CW (CBS-Warner Brothers) (41%; n=30). Conclusions: Substantial tobacco use was observed in television shows popular among youth. It is projected that almost 1 million youth were exposed to tobacco depictions through the programming examined. Tobacco use on television should be a cause for concern, particularly because of the high volume of television viewing among younger audiences.

The Tobacco Technical Assistance Consortium: a foundation-university partnership to reduce tobacco use.

Healton, C., & Curran, J. W.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Health Promotion Practice

Volume

12

Issue

6

Tobacco and NIH: More than addiction

Seffrin, J. R., Brown, N. A., Connor, C. D., Myers, M. L., Healton, C., & Richland, J.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

20

Issue

3

Page(s)

175-177

Tobacco: An equal-opportunity killer?

Curry, L. E., Vallone, D. M., Cartwright, J., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

20

Issue

4

Page(s)

251-252

US attitudes about banning menthol in cigarettes: Results from a nationally representative survey

Winickoff, J. P., McMillen, R. C., Vallone, D. M., Pearson, J. L., Tanski, S. E., Dempsey, J. H., Healton, C., Klein, J. D., & Abrams, D.

Publication year

2011

Journal title

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

101

Issue

7

Page(s)

1234-1236
Abstract
Menthol is a cigarette flavoring that makes smoking more appealing to smokers. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority to ban mentholated cigarettes to reduce youth uptake and encourage adult cessation. Survey findings indicate that more than half of all Americans (56.1%) and of Blacks alone (68.0% in one sample and 75.8% in another) support banning menthol. Endorsement of a ban-especially by Blacks, who have the highest rates of menthol cigarette use-would support FDA action to ban menthol to protect the public's health.

Camel No. 9 cigarette-marketing campaign targeted young teenage girls

Pierce, J. P., Messer, K., James, L. E., White, M. M., Kealey, S., Vallone, D. M., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

Pediatrics

Volume

125

Issue

4

Page(s)

619-626
Abstract
CONTEXT: The 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) restricted tobacco industry advertising practices that targeted teens. OBJECTIVE: To assess whether cigarette-advertising campaigns conducted after the MSA continue to influence smoking among adolescents. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Participants were a national longitudinal cohort of 1036 adolescents (baseline age: 10-13 years) enrolled in a parenting study. Between 2003 and 2008, 5 sequential telephone interviews were conducted, including the participants report of brand of "favorite" cigarette advertisement. The fifth interview was conducted after the start of RJ Reynolds' innovative "Camel No. 9" advertising campaign in 2007. Smoking outcome reported from the fifth survey. RESULTS: The response rate through the fifth survey was 71.8%. Teenagers who reported any favorite cigarette ad at baseline (mean age: 11.7 years) were 50% more likely to have smoked by the fifth interview (adjusted odds ratio: 1.5 [95% confidence interval: 1.0-2.3]). For boys, the proportion with a favorite ad was stable across all 5 surveys, as it was for girls across the first 4 surveys. However, after the start of the Camel No. 9 advertising campaign, the proportion of girls who reported a favorite ad increased by 10 percentage points, to 44%. The Camel brand accounted almost entirely for this increase, and the proportion of each gender that nominated the Marlboro brand remained relatively stable. CONCLUSIONS: After the MSA, adolescents continued to be responsive to cigarette advertising, and those who were responsive were more likely to start smoking. Recent RJ Reynolds advertising may be effectively targeting adolescent girls.

Home and workplace smoking bans in Italy, Ireland, Sweden, France and the Czech Republic

Heck, J. E., Stücker, I., Allwright, S., Gritz, E. R., Haglund, M., Healton, C. G., Kralikova, E., Sanchez Del Mazo, S., Tamang, E., Dresler, C. M., & Hashibe, M.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

European Respiratory Journal

Volume

35

Issue

5

Page(s)

969-979
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to report predictors and prevalence of home and workplace smoking bans in five European countries. We conducted a population-based telephone survey of 4,977 females, ascertaining factors associated with smoking bans. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were derived using unconditional logistic regression. A complete home smoking ban was reported by 59.5% of French, 63.5% of Irish, 61.3% of Italian, 74.4% of Czech and 87.0% of Swedish females. Home smoking bans were associated with younger age and being bothered by secondhand smoke, and among smokers, inversely associated with greater tobacco dependence. Among nonsmokers, bans were also related to believing smoking is harmful (OR 1.20, 95% CI 1.11-1.30) and having parents who smoke (OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.52-0.73). Workplace bans were reported by 92.6% of French, 96.5% of Irish, 77.9% of Italian, 79.1% of Czech and 88.1% of Swedish females. Workplace smoking bans were reported less often among those in technical positions (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.50-0.82) and among skilled workers (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32-0.88) than among professional workers. Workplace smoking bans are in place for most workers in these countries. Having a home smoking ban was based on smoking behaviour, demographics, beliefs and personal preference. Copyright

Menthol Cigarettes are Harmful

Healton, C.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

The Wall Street Journal

Misinformation about tobacco

Malone, R. E., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

100

Issue

1

Page(s)

6

Prohibiting menthol in tobacco products: A policy whose time has come

Healton, C. G., Beck, S. E., Cartwright, J., & Vallone, D. M.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

Addiction

Volume

105

Page(s)

5-7

The truth® Campaign: Using Countermarketing to Reduce Youth Smoking

Healey, B. J., Zimmerman, R. S., & Healton, C. In The new world of health promotion.

Publication year

2010

Page(s)

195 - 215

Why we should make menthol cigarettes history

Healton, C. G., Bullock, A. T., Robinson, W. S., Beck, S. E., Cartwright, J., & Eubanks, S. Y.

Publication year

2010

Journal title

Nicotine and Tobacco Research

Volume

12

Cost-Utility Analysis of the National truth® Campaign to Prevent Youth Smoking

Holtgrave, D. R., Wunderink, K. A., Vallone, D. M., & Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2009

Journal title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume

36

Issue

5

Page(s)

385-388
Abstract
Background: In 2005, the American Journal of Public Health published an article that indicated that 22% of the overall decline in youth smoking that occurred between 1999 and 2002 was directly attributable to the truth® social marketing campaign launched in 2000. A remaining key question about the truth campaign is whether the economic investment in the program can be justified by the public health outcomes; that question is examined here. Methods: Standard methods of cost and cost-utility analysis were employed in accordance with the U.S. Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; a societal perspective was employed. Results: During 2000-2002, expenditures totaled just over $324 million to develop, deliver, evaluate, and litigate the truth campaign. The base-case cost-utility analysis result indicates that the campaign was cost saving; it is estimated that the campaign recouped its costs and that just under $1.9 billion in medical costs was averted for society. Sensitivity analysis indicated that the basic determination of cost effectiveness for this campaign is robust to substantial variation in input parameters. Conclusions: This study suggests that the truth campaign not only markedly improved the public's health but did so in an economically efficient manner.

Increasing youths' exposure to a tobacco prevention media campaign in rural and low-population-density communities

Duke, J. C., Vallone, D. M., Allen, J. A., Cullen, J., Mowery, P. D., Xiao, H., Dorrler, N., Asche, E. T., & Healton, C.

Publication year

2009

Journal title

American Journal of Public Health

Volume

99

Issue

12

Page(s)

2210-2216
Abstract
Objectives. We examined the effectiveness of a program to increase exposure to national "truth" tobacco countermarketing messages among youths in rural and low-population-density communities. Methods. A longitudinal survey of 2618 youths aged 12 to 17 years was conducted over 5 months in 8 media markets receiving supplemental advertising and 8 comparison markets receiving less than the national average of "truth" messages. Results. Confirmed awareness of "truth" increased from 40% to 71% among youths in treatment markets while remaining stable in comparison markets. Over 35% of all youths who were unaware of the campaign at baseline became aware of it as a direct result of the increased advertising. Youths living in rural and low-population-density communities were receptive to the campaign's messages. Conclusions. Through purchase of airtime in local broadcast media, the reach of a national tobacco countermarketing campaign was expanded among youths living in rural and low-population-density areas. This strategy of augmenting delivery of nationally broadcast antitobacco ads can serve as a model for leveraging limited tobacco control resources to increase the impact of evidence-based tobacco prevention campaigns.

Issues, priorities, and political implications for cancer: An organization's perspective

Healton, C. G.

Publication year

2009

Journal title

Journal of Cancer Education

Volume

24

The Strategic Dialogue on Tobacco Harm Reduction: a vision and blueprint for action in the US

Zeller, M., Hatsukami, D., Healton, C., Backinger, C., Benowitz, N., Biener, L., Burns, D., Clark, P., Djordjevic, M., Eissenberg, T., Govino, G., Hecht, S., Henningfield, J., Husten, C., Kobus, K., Leischow, S., Levy, D., Marcus, S., Meyers, M., Parascandola, M., Ponkshe, P., Shields, P., Slovic, P., Sweanor, D., & Warner, K.

Publication year

2009

Journal title

Tobacco Control

Volume

18

Issue

4

Page(s)

324-332

Unintended Consequences of Tobacco Policies. Implications for Public Health Practice

Healton, C. G., Vallone, D., & Cartwright, J.

Publication year

2009

Journal title

American Journal of Preventive Medicine

Volume

37

Issue

2

Contact

ch119@nyu.edu +1 (212) 992-2017 665 Broadway New York, NY 10012