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Nancy Tess Boley Cruz, PhD

TitleAssociate Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine
InstitutionUniversity of Southern California
DepartmentInstitute for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention
AddressSSB 312C 2001 N. Soto Street
Health Sciences Campus
Los Angeles CA 90033
Phone+1 323 442 8245
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    Tess Boley Cruz, PhD, MPH, CHES, is a clinical assistant professor in preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. For the past 12 years, she has been involved in research projects and teaching at the master's and undergraduate levels in health education, communications and health disparities. She serves as the co-principal investigator of the Tobacco Education and Material Lab (TEAM Lab), providing special expertise on materials development and evaluation.

    She served as the first director of the new Master of Public Health Program (MPH) at USC and currently serves as director of the Health Communications Track in the MPH program. Dr. Cruz provides the core MPH course on health promotion theory, and a course on public health communications with an emphasis on tailoring strategies and materials to help priority populations. In her undergraduate teaching, her courses have included a focus on race and gender issues in public health and on adolescent health.

    Her research focuses on health communications, disparities, and tobacco control, with projects on countering tobacco marketing, and reducing menthol smoking among African-Americans.

    Dr. Cruz earned her MPH from California State University and her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst


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    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. Allem JP, Ramanujam J, Lerman K, Chu KH, Boley Cruz N, Unger JB. Identifying Sentiment of Hookah-Related Posts on Twitter. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2017 Oct 18; 3(4):e74. PMID: 29046267.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Allem JP, Chu KH, Cruz TB, Unger JB. Waterpipe Promotion and Use on Instagram: #Hookah. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Oct 01; 19(10):1248-1252. PMID: 28077449.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Escobedo P, Cruz TB, Tsai KY, Allem JP, Soto DW, Kirkpatrick MG, Pattarroyo M, Unger JB. Monitoring tobacco brand websites to understand marketing strategies aimed at tobacco product users and potential users. Nicotine Tob Res. 2017 Sep 11. PMID: 29059386.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Leventhal AM, Urman R, Barrington-Trimis JL, Goldenson NI, Gallegos K, Chou CP, Wang K, Berhane K, Cruz TB, Pentz MA, Unger J, McConnell RS. Perceived stress and poly-tobacco product use across adolescence: Patterns of association and gender differences. J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Nov; 94:172-179. PMID: 28738287.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Allem JP, Escobedo P, Chu KH, Boley Cruz N, Unger JB. Images of Little Cigars and Cigarillos on Instagram Identified by the Hashtag #swisher: Thematic Analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2017 Jul 14; 19(7):e255. PMID: 28710057.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Lienemann BA, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Chu KH. Methods for Coding Tobacco-Related Twitter Data: A Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res. 2017 Mar 31; 19(3):e91. PMID: 28363883.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Ayers JW, Leas EC, Allem JP, Benton A, Dredze M, Althouse BM, Cruz TB, Unger JB. Why do people use electronic nicotine delivery systems (electronic cigarettes)? A content analysis of Twitter, 2012-2015. PLoS One. 2017; 12(3):e0170702. PMID: 28248987.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Rendón AD, Unger JB, Cruz T, Soto DW, Baezconde-Garbanati L. Perceptions of Secondhand and Thirdhand Smoke Among Hispanic Residents of Multiunit Housing. J Immigr Minor Health. 2017 02; 19(1):162-169. PMID: 26545600.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Kirkpatrick MG, Cruz TB, Goldenson NI, Allem JP, Chu KH, Pentz MA, Unger JB. Electronic cigarette retailers use Pokémon Go to market products. Tob Control. 2017 Dec; 26(e2):e145-e147. PMID: 28044010.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Chu KH, Allem JP, Cruz TB, Unger JB. Vaping on Instagram: cloud chasing, hand checks and product placement. Tob Control. 2016 Sep; 26(5):575-578. PMID: 27660111.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Barrington-Trimis JL, Urman R, Leventhal AM, Gauderman WJ, Cruz TB, Gilreath TD, Howland S, Unger JB, Berhane K, Samet JM, McConnell R. E-cigarettes, Cigarettes, and the Prevalence of Adolescent Tobacco Use. Pediatrics. 2016 Aug; 138(2). PMID: 27401102; PMCID: PMC4960723 [Available on 08/01/17].
    12. Barrington-Trimis JL, Urman R, Berhane K, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Pentz MA, Samet JM, Leventhal AM, McConnell R. E-Cigarettes and Future Cigarette Use. Pediatrics. 2016 Jul; 138(1). PMID: 27296866; PMCID: PMC4925085 [Available on 07/01/17].
    13. Sussman S, Allem JP, Garcia J, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Garcia R, Baezconde-Garbanati L. Who walks into vape shops in Southern California?: a naturalistic observation of customers. Tob Induc Dis. 2016; 14:18. PMID: 27231480; PMCID: PMC4880826.
    14. Barrington-Trimis JL, Berhane K, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Urman R, Chou CP, Howland S, Wang K, Pentz MA, Gilreath TD, Huh J, Leventhal AM, Samet JM, McConnell R. The E-cigarette Social Environment, E-cigarette Use, and Susceptibility to Cigarette Smoking. J Adolesc Health. 2016 Jul; 59(1):75-80. PMID: 27161417; PMCID: PMC4920702 [Available on 07/01/17].
    15. Unger JB, Escobedo P, Allem JP, Soto DW, Chu KH, Cruz T. Perceptions of Secondhand E-Cigarette Aerosol Among Twitter Users. Tob Regul Sci. 2016 Apr; 2(2):146-152. PMID: 28090560.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Allem JP, Escobedo P, Chu KH, Soto DW, Cruz TB, Unger JB. Campaigns and counter campaigns: reactions on Twitter to e-cigarette education. Tob Control. 2017 03; 26(2):226-229. PMID: 26956467.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Edgar T, Silk KJ, Abroms LC, Cruz TB, Evans WD, Gallagher SS, Miller GA, Hoffman A, Schindler-Ruwisch JM, Sheff SE. Career Paths of Recipients of a Master's Degree in Health Communication: Understanding Employment Opportunities, Responsibilities, and Choices. J Health Commun. 2016; 21(3):356-65. PMID: 26735802.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Chu KH, Unger JB, Allem JP, Pattarroyo M, Soto D, Cruz TB, Yang H, Jiang L, Yang CC. Diffusion of Messages from an Electronic Cigarette Brand to Potential Users through Twitter. PLoS One. 2015; 10(12):e0145387. PMID: 26684746.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Gilreath TD, Leventhal A, Barrington-Trimis JL, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Berhane K, Huh J, Urman R, Wang K, Howland S, Pentz MA, Chou CP, McConnell R. Patterns of Alternative Tobacco Product Use: Emergence of Hookah and E-cigarettes as Preferred Products Amongst Youth. J Adolesc Health. 2016 Feb; 58(2):181-5. PMID: 26598059; PMCID: PMC4963235 [Available on 02/01/17].
    20. Barrington-Trimis JL, Berhane K, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Huh J, Leventhal AM, Urman R, Wang K, Howland S, Gilreath TD, Chou CP, Pentz MA, McConnell R. Psychosocial Factors Associated With Adolescent Electronic Cigarette and Cigarette Use. Pediatrics. 2015 Aug; 136(2):308-17. PMID: 26216326; PMCID: PMC4516947.
    21. Chu KH, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Soto DW. Electronic Cigarettes on Twitter - Spreading the Appeal of Flavors. Tob Regul Sci. 2015 Apr; 1(1):36-41. PMID: 27853734.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Edgar T, Gallagher SS, Silk KJ, Cruz TB, Abroms LC, Evans WD, Finley AM, Miller GA. Results from a national survey of health communication master's degree recipients: an exploration of training, placement, satisfaction, and success. J Health Commun. 2015; 20(3):354-66. PMID: 25668684.
      View in: PubMed
    23. Sussman S, Garcia R, Cruz TB, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Pentz MA, Unger JB. Consumers' perceptions of vape shops in Southern California: an analysis of online Yelp reviews. Tob Induc Dis. 2014; 12(1):22. PMID: 25484852; PMCID: PMC4258055.
    24. Cruz TB, Wright LT, Crawford G. The menthol marketing mix: targeted promotions for focus communities in the United States. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Dec; 12 Suppl 2:S147-53. PMID: 21177371.
      View in: PubMed
    25. Allen B, Cruz TB, Leonard E, Unger JB. Development and validation of a scale to assess attitudes and beliefs about menthol cigarettes among african american smokers. Eval Health Prof. 2010 Dec; 33(4):414-36. PMID: 21149394.
      View in: PubMed
    26. Roeseler A, Feighery EC, Cruz TB. Tobacco marketing in California and implications for the future. Tob Control. 2010 Apr; 19 Suppl 1:i21-9. PMID: 20382646.
      View in: PubMed
    27. Unger JB, Allen B, Leonard E, Wenten M, Cruz TB. Menthol and non-menthol cigarette use among Black smokers in Southern California. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Apr; 12(4):398-407. PMID: 20167636.
      View in: PubMed
    28. Cruz TB. Monitoring the tobacco use epidemic IV. The vector: Tobacco industry data sources and recommendations for research and evaluation. Prev Med. 2009 Jan; 48(1 Suppl):S24-34. PMID: 18976685.
      View in: PubMed
    29. Feighery EC, Schleicher NC, Boley Cruz N, Unger JB. An examination of trends in amount and type of cigarette advertising and sales promotions in California stores, 2002-2005. Tob Control. 2008 Apr; 17(2):93-8. PMID: 18303088.
      View in: PubMed
    30. Unger JB, Rohrbach LA, Howard KA, Boley Cruz N, Johnson CA, Chen X. Attitudes toward anti-tobacco policy among California youth: associations with smoking status, psychosocial variables and advocacy actions. Health Educ Res. 1999 Dec; 14(6):751-63. PMID: 10585383.
      View in: PubMed
    31. Stoddard JL, Johnson CA, Sussman S, Dent C, Boley-Cruz T. Tailoring outdoor tobacco advertising to minorities in Los Angeles County. J Health Commun. 1998 Apr-Jun; 3(2):137-46. PMID: 10977250.
      View in: PubMed
    32. Stoddard JL, Johnson CA, Boley-Cruz T, Sussman S. Targeted tobacco markets: outdoor advertising in Los Angeles minority neighborhoods. Am J Public Health. 1997 Jul; 87(7):1232-3. PMID: 9240120; PMCID: PMC1380904.
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