Jim F. Thrasher, PhD, MA, MS

Jim F. Thrasher, PhD, MA, MS
Assistant Professor 

Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior
Arnold School of Public Health
Health Sciences Building, 215
800 Sumter Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Phone: (803) 777-4862
Fax: (803) 777-6290
E-mail: thrasher@mailbox.sc.edu

Curriculum Vitae

PhD (2005) – Health Behavior, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
MS (2000) – Epidemiology, State University of New York, Buffalo
MA (1994) – Anthropology, State University of New York, Buffalo
BA (1990) – Psychology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Cancer Prevention & Control
Mass Media & Health Communication
Social & Cultural Determinants of Health
Globalization & Global Health
Mixed Methods (i.e., combining qualitative and quantitative methods)
Measurement Development
My research generally involves clarifying how social and cultural factors influence both health behaviors and the efficacy of communication and policy efforts to promote these behaviors. The mixed-method, interdisciplinary approach I take draws from my training in health behavior, epidemiology, anthropology, and psychology. Furthermore, the transnational nature of my research reflects my commitment to illuminating and engaging with health issues at home and abroad. 

Some of my current projects include:

  • A cohort study of adult smokers in 11 countries in order to determine the impact of tobacco control policy and the psychosocial mechanisms that explain policy impact;
  • Analyses of smoking portrayals in movies that are popular in Mexico, and the impact of exposure to movie smoking on Mexican adolescents’ smoking initiation and progression;
  • Evaluation of a US national, mass media campaign (i.e., truth) that aims to prevent adolescent smoking by focusing on the deceitful practices of the tobacco industry;
  • A school-based tobacco prevention program among 20,000 early adolescents in 10 Mexican cities;
  • Evaluation of graphic warning labels on cigarette packs in Mexico;
  • Focus groups and in-depth interviews with adult Mexican smokers to describe their perceptions of smoking and how it is related to their physical and socio-cultural environments.


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Estimating the Impact of Alternative Warning Labels on Cigarette Demand in the United States: Evidence from Experimental Auctions”. To determine the change in demand associated with different formats and presentations of graphic imagery on cigarette package warning labels, by conducting experimental auctions among adult smokers in four states. Role: Co-Primary Investigator

Roswell Park Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center (TTURC)/National Cancer Institute Cigarette warning label policy and trajectories of cognitive processing: A latent curve approach to assessing individual variation and its behavioral impacts The project involves applying Latent Growth Curve Modeling to six waves of data from the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project in order to determine the utility of this approach in analyzing individual-level variation in the trajectories of health warning label processing variables. Role: Primary Investigator

Mexican National Council on Science and Technology (CONACyT) Impact of tobacco control policy on a cohort of adult Mexican smokers. To follow up for three additional years and expand (from 1080 to 2000) an established cohort of adult smokers to determine the distinct impact of different tobacco control policies on Mexican smokers behavior and psychosocial factors that explain this impact. Role: Co-Primary Investigator

Bloomberg Global Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use A mass media campaign to promote smoke free policy in Mexico City. Develop, implement and evaluate a social marketing campaign to promote support for and compliance with smoke-free policies in Mexico City. Role: Primary Investigator

Bloomberg Global Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use Material development and capacity building for tobacco policy media advocacy in Mexico. To adapt media advocacy principles and materials to Mexico through media analysis, interviews with tobacco advocates, panels with media representatives, policy opinion surveys, developing and pretesting messages. Role: Co-Primary Investigator

Anthropology and Public Health
Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health
Contemporary Issues in Tobacco Control
Research Methods
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Thrasher JF, Boado M, Sebrié EM, Bianco E. Smoke-free policies and the social acceptability of smoking in Uruguay and Mexico. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. In press. 

Thrasher JF, Jackson C, Arillo-Santillan E, Sargent JD. Exposure to smoking in movies and adolescent smoking in Mexico. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 35(2): 95-102. 2008.

Thrasher JF, Reynales-Shigematsu LM, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Villalobos V, Téllez-Girón P, Arillo-Santillán E, Dorantes-Alonzo A, Valdés-Salgado R, Lazcano-Ponce EC. Promoting the effective translation of the Framework Convention on Tobacco control: A case study of challenges and opportunities for strategic communications in Mexico. Evaluation & the Health Professions. 31(2): 145-166. 2008.

Llaguno-Aguilar SE, Dorantes-Alonso AC, Thrasher JF, Villalobos V, Besley JC Análisis de la cobertura del tema de tabaco en medios impresos mexicanos [Analysis of the coverage of tobacco in Mexican print media]. Revista de Salud Pública. 30 (Sup 3): S348-S354. 2008.

Hassan LM, Shiu E, Thrasher JF, Fong GT, Hastings G. Exploring the effectiveness of cigarette warning labels: Findings from the United States and United Kingdom arms of the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing. 15(1) 2008.

Thrasher JF, Rousu MC, Anaya-Ocampo R, Reynales-Shigematsu LM, Arillo-Santillán E, Hernández-Ávila M. Estimating the impact of cigarette package warning label policies: The auction method. Addictive Behaviors, 32(12) 2916-2915. 2007

Thrasher JF, Hammond D, Fong G, Arillo-Santillán E. Smokers’ reactions to cigarette package warnings with graphic imagery and with only text: A comparison of Mexico and Canada. Salud Pública de México, 49(SuppI): S233-240. 2007.

Arillo-Santillán E, Thrasher JF, Rodríguez-Bolaños R, Chávez-Ayala R, Ruiz Velazco S, Lazcano-Ponce E. Susceptibilidad al consumo de tabaco en estudiantes no fumadores de 10 ciudades mexicanas: Una necesidad de cultura contra permisividad social del tabaquismo. [Susceptibility to tobacco use en non-smoking students from 10 Mexican cities] Salud Pública de México, 49(SuppI): S170-181. 2007.

Thrasher JF, Jackson C. Mistrusting companies, mistrusting the tobacco industry: Clarifying the context of tobacco prevention efforts that focus on the tobacco industry. Journal of Health & Social Behavior. 47(4) 2006.

Thrasher JF, Bentley ME. The meanings and context of smoking among Mexican university students. Public Health Reports. 121(5): 578-585. 2006.

Hammond D, Fong G, Zanna M, Thrasher JF, Borland R. Tobacco denormalization, anti-industry beliefs, and cessation behavior among smokers from four countries. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 31(3): 225-232. 2006.

Thrasher JF, Niederdeppe JD, Jackson C, Farrelly MC. Using anti-tobacco industry messages to prevent smoking among high-risk youth. Health Education Research, 21(3): 325-337. 2006.

Thrasher JF, Chaloupka FJ, Hammond D, Fong G, Borland R, Hastings G, Cummings KM. Evaluación de las políticas contra el tabaquismo en países lainoamericanos en la era del Convenio Marco para el Control del Tabaco. Revista de Salud Pública de México, 48(SuppI): S155-S166. 2006.

Thrasher JF, Allen B, Anaya-Ocampo R, Reynales LM. Análysis del impacto en fumadores mexicanos de las advertencias gráficas en las cajetillas de cigarros. Revista de Salud Pública de México, 48(SuppI): S65-S74. 2006.

Valdés-Salgado R, Thrasher JF, Sanchez-Zamorano LM, Lazcano-Ponce E, Reynales-Shigematsu LM, Meneses-González F, Hernández-Ávila M. Los retos del Convenio Marco para el Control del Tabaco en México: un diagnóstico a partir de la Encuesta sobre Tabaquismo en Jóvenes. Revista de Salud Pública de México, 48(SuppI): S5-S16. 2006.

Rivera-Rivera L, Allen B, Thrasher JF, Chavez R, Fernandez-Ortega C, Galal O, Lazcano-Ponce EC, Hernández-Avila M. The prevalence and correlates of intra-familial violence among Mexican and Egyptian youth. Revista de Saude Publica, 39(5): 709-715. 2005

Thrasher JF, Niederdeppe J, Farrelly MC, Davis KC, Ribisl K, Haviland L. The impact of anti-tobacco industry prevention messages in tobacco producing regions: Evidence from the US truth® campaign. Tobacco Control, 13 (3): 283-288. 2004

Thrasher JF, Campbell M, Oates V, Hudson M, Jackson E. Behavior-specific social support and risk behavior among African-American church members: Applying optimal matching theory. Health Education & Behavior, 31(2): 193-205. 2004

Thrasher JF, Cummings KM, Michalek A, Mahoney M, Moysich K, Pillitere D. Colorectal cancer screening among people with and without a family history. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 8(2): 1-9. 2002

Beskow LM, Khoury MJ, Baker T, Thrasher JF. The integration of genomics into public health research, policy, and practice in the United States. Community Genetics, 4(1): 2-11. 2001

Khoury MJ, Thrasher JF, Burke W, Gettig E, Fridinger F, Jackson R. Challenges in communicating about genetics: A public health approach. Genetics in Medicine, 2(3): 185-190. 2000

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