Grantee: Pallav Pokhrel

Pallav Pokhrel

Pallav Pokhrel, PhD, MPH

Behavioral Scientist/Health Behavior Researcher
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa

Tobacco use is the leading cause of cancer worldwide. Despite the fact that tobacco use prevalence in the U.S. has decreased markedly over the past several decades, tobacco use still remains a substantial problem in the country. Moreover, with the recent surge in electronic- or e-cigarette use prevalence among youth and young adults, there are concerns that the gains made in tobacco control over the years may be at risk. At present e-cigarettes face limited regulations, and the public health consequences of e-cigarette use are not well understood. With a focus on e-cigarette use among young adults, Pokhrel's current research intends to 1) inform development of regulations on e-cigarette marketing; 2) elucidate the cognitive and psychosocial factors associated with e-cigarette use uptake among never smokers; and 3) understand the impact of e-cigarette use on cigarette use initiation and cessation. The goal of his research is to help develop scientifically informed policies and prevention and treatment strategies that are of service to tobacco control.

Pokhrel grew up in Nepal, attuned to the importance of better public health. He was introduced to adolescent substance use research as a doctoral student at the Institute for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Research (IPR), University of Southern California (USC), where he trained under Dr. Steve Sussman. The opportunities to work closely with several accomplished researchers at USC and the University of Hawaii have contributed significantly to his intellectual development as a researcher. Pokhrel's interest in tobacco control research is reflective of his general passion for addiction and problem behavior research. This passion is fueled by simple questions. For example: Why do people engage in harmful behaviors? What makes youth experiment with addictive substances? How does experimentation develop into abuse and dependence? Why are some people more likely to engage in risky behaviors than others? How do we successfully persuade people to change risky behaviors? He believes that rigorous empirical testing of theories designed to answer questions such as these will inform effective prevention and treatment interventions.

The advent of e-cigarettes has marked an epoch in the history of smoking-their impact on public health needs to be studied and studied clear-headedly.”

Selected Grants

Project Title Grant Number Program Director
Social Processes of E-cigarette Marketing's Influence on Behavior 5R01CA228905-03 Kelly Blake