Current Projects

Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center

Do you know what thirdhand smoke is? It’s the toxic residual chemicals from tobacco and cannabis smoking that can collect in places like your home and car. The Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center aims to increase awareness about THS, find solutions to eliminate its toxic legacy in vulnerable populations, and contribute to the Tobacco Endgame to eliminate commercial tobacco sales by 2035.  Check out the website to learn more.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Georg Matt

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Tobacco Policy Research Center

Our mission is to conduct community-driven tobacco policy research that leads to cleaner and healthier indoor and outdoor environments by eliminating the toxic legacy of commercial tobacco products. The Tobacco Policy Research Center envisions a world where everybody can grow up, play, work, and enjoy life in indoor and outdoor environments free of toxic commercial tobacco product pollution.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigators: Dr. Georg Matt and Mary Baum

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Project

We’ve all seen cigarette butts lying on the street or sidewalk. Cigarette butts, e-smoking pods, and cannabis trash can all contain cancer-causing chemicals. The Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Project helps communities reduce this harmful waste. Check out the website to learn more.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Georg Matt

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Using Biomarkers to Distinguish Types of Smoke Exposure in Children

Biomarkers are chemicals that we can measure to estimate other harder-to-measure exposures. In this case, this project uses public use datasets of multiple biomarkers for tobacco exposure to differentiate between second- and thirdhand smoke, as well as e-cigarette smoke. Children are a population of particular concern because they are more vulnerable to the harms of tobacco exposure.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Ashley Merianos

Funding: National Institutes of Health

Health Effects in Pediatric Patients Only Exposed to Thirdhand Smoke

It is well established that children face the greatest risks of harm from tobacco exposure. This project aims to identify children exposed to thirdhand smoke only and evaluate how this exposure may be affecting their health.

PI & Funding Info

Primary Investigators: Drs. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens & Georg Matt

Funding: National Institutes of Health

Predicting Environmental Waste from Tobacco, E-Cigarette, and Marijuana Products

Tobacco and marijuana waste don’t just harm us, they also harm our environment. This project has three key goals: to map tobacco and marijuana waste across San Diego County, create a model for predicting waste, and finally, work with communities to better understand and eliminate this toxic waste.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Georg Matt

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Imperial Youth for a Tobacco-Free Environment

SDSU has teamed up with Comite Civico del Valle (CCV) in Imperial County, CA to involve high schoolers in tobacco-related research and education. This project’s goals include determining how to involve community residents in the planning, conducting, and use of research to change local rules and policies around tobacco use.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigators: Dr. Lydia Greiner & Luis Olmedo

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Thirdhand Smoke’s Contribution to Overall Tobacco Smoke Exposure in Pediatric Patients

Thirdhand smoke is only one method of tobacco exposure. This project is investigating how home smoking behaviors contribute to thirdhand smoke and overall tobacco smoke pollution and exposure.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigators: Drs. Melinda Mahabee-Gittens & Georg Matt

Funding: National Institutes of Health

Exposure to Tobacco, E-Cigarette, and Marijuana in Multiunit Housing

Do you live in multiunit housing, like an apartment or condominium complex? Your neighbor’s tobacco and cannabis smoke can travel from between units and affect your health, even if you and the people you live with don’t smoke. The Tobacco, E-Cigarette, & Marijuana Project surveys residents and samples their homes to better understand traveling toxic smoke.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Georg Matt

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Engaging Communities in the Tobacco Endgame: Mapping Tobacco Product Litter in the Neighborhood

California is gearing up to end the tobacco epidemic by 2035. You can see the state’s resources here. This project supports this goal with an app. This app will educate, map, record, and share observations of tobacco waste in local neighborhoods, before it is evaluated for its effectiveness in increasing understanding of tobacco waste.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Georg Matt

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Testing Anti-Tobacco Messages for California’s Tobacco Endgame Among Diverse and Underserved Communities

A second way that the Center is assisting the state’s Tobacco Endgame is by exploring the best ways to communicate about the Endgame. The major goal of this project is to develop and test the various tobacco endgame messaging strategies among diverse and underserved communities.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Rachael Record

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Thirdhand Smoke Research Consortium: Messaging for Priority Populations

Similar to the “Testing Anti-Tobacco Messages” project, this project also tests the effectiveness of messaging. However, this project is specifically focused on thirdhand smoke messaging in the context of the Endgame.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Rachael Record

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Designing a Mobile Personal Exposure Toolkit (PET) with Youth

A big focus of the Center’s projects is community involvement and engagement. The major goals of this project are to design, develop, and test a tool to measure real-time tobacco exposure to support policies for smoke-free housing and outdoor dining.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Neil Klepeis

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Simulation for Environmental Exposure Education (S3E): A Serious Game Platform for Environmental Health Literacy

The goal of this project is to develop and test a mobile game for middle school students that will introduce them to environmental health issues related to residential tobacco and carbon monoxide exposure.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Neil Klepeis & Tamara Kuhn

Funding: U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant

Thirdhand Smoke in Homes: Fate, Characterization, and Remediation

Thirdhand smoke can contaminate many surfaces in our homes. This project attempts to characterize and understand the variability of different thirdhand-smoke-contaminated household surfaces, including the level of contamination and depth of penetration of different materials. Then, continuing tests will determine how effective cleaning methods are in removing this thirdhand smoke.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Nathan Dodder

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Reducing Exposure to Thirdhand Smoke in Multiunit Housing

The goal of this project is to determine best practices for sampling, exposure assessment, remediation, and verification of thirdhand smoke-polluted multiunit housing, and to translate these findings to the people this affects.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Penelope Quintana

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Pilot Investigation of Tobacco, E-Cigarette, and Cannabis Contaminants in an Urban Natural Reserve

This planning project will investigate the toxicity of tobacco product waste in an urban natural reserve and establish sampling and analytical methods for assessing this environmental pollution.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Eunha Hoh

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Assessing Fate and Toxicity of Microplastics under Coast Environment Conditions

Tobacco and cannabis litter, like cigarette butts and vaping pods, contain plastics. When these break down in the environment, they can introduce harmful microplastics. The research goals of this project are to understand how these microplastics are aging and affecting the coastal and aquatic environment.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Eunha Hoh

Funding: California State University COAST

Surface Water Emissions from Cannabis Cultivation Sites: Quantity, Quality, Toxicity, and Relationships to Farmers’ Practices

This project will survey cannabis and other crop growers for self-reported farm practices, analyze pesticide residue from local dispensary products versus other crops, and sample and analyze waters downstream of farms for quality and toxicity. The goal is to assess cannabis farming practices for their environmental effect.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigators: Drs. Patricia Holden & Eunha Hoh

Funding: California Bureau of Cannabis Control

Silicone Wristbands to Measure Secondhand Exposure to Tobacco, E-Cigarettes, and Cannabis

This project will evaluate whether a community-friendly and simple silicone wristband can be worn and used as a sampler to absorb and record exposure to tobacco smoke, e-cigarettes, and cannabis.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Penelope Quintana

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Thirdhand Smoke Disparities, Harm and Risk in Children

The overall aim of this project is to investigate and quantify disparities in thirdhand smoke exposure and harm in a diverse sample of children, and to provide evidence and tools to reduce thirdhand smoke exposure to children in indoor spaces.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Penelope Quintana

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Remediation of Tobacco Toxicants Polluting Low-Income Multiunit Housing

This project aims to determine the extent to which low-income multiunit housing in San Diego County is polluted with thirdhand smoke. The study will evaluate the effectiveness of household dust and surface cleaning interventions on thirdhand smoke pollutant concentration.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Penelope Quintana

Funding: California’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program

Economic Costs of Tobacco Product Waste

This project is developing an economic model that evaluates the cost of tobacco waste product throughout several CA cities.

PI & Funding Info

Principal Investigator: Dr. Thomas Novotny

Funding: California Department of Public Health