Grantee: Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD, RN

Amanda Fallin-Bennett

Amanda Fallin-Bennett, PhD, RN

Nurse Researcher
  • University of Kentucky

As an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, a tobacco treatment specialist, and a former Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) scholar, Dr. Fallin-Bennett's program of research focuses on tailoring tobacco treatment and advocating for evidence-based tobacco policy for vulnerable populations. Dr. Fallin-Bennett became interested in reducing tobacco-related death and disease among high-risk groups while growing up in rural Kentucky and seeing friends, family, and patients struggle with tobacco addiction and subsequent adverse health outcomes. She has experience leading clinical research trials, as well as developing, implementing, and evaluating tobacco treatment programs funded by NIH and other private non-profit agencies to reduce smoking among pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. Further, Dr. Fallin-Bennett has conducted community-engaged research projects designed to promote comprehensive smoke- and tobacco-free policies in a variety of settings, including college campuses, a residential treatment program for women with substance use disorder, LGBTQ Pride festivals, and rural communities. The purpose of Dr. Fallin-Bennett's current NCI-funded research project is to understand the barriers to progress in adoption of strong smoke-free laws in rural, southern municipalities to inform advocacy strategies in these areas. Regional disparities in smoke-free law coverage persist approximately four decades after smoke-free laws were adopted in other regions. Current best practice strategies for smoke-free law advocacy have not been effective in closing these gaps. Tobacco-related health disparities will continue to lead to poor health outcomes and enormous societal costs in rural, southern municipalities until we can advance the science of smoke-free policy adoption. This study will shift the current research paradigm to a new way of understanding effective smoke-free policy advocacy strategies for rural, southern communities.

After growing up in rural Kentucky, I moved to California and was struck by the stark geographic disparity in tobacco control policies, and became passionate about closing the gap in rural, southern states.”

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