UTH

Melissa Blythe Harrell, PhD

Photo of Melissa Blythe Harrell

Professor, Epidemiology, Human Genetics & Environmental Sciences
melissa.h.harrell@uth.tmc.edu

Dr. Melissa Blythe Harrell is a Professor at the Center who resides at the Austin Campus, with other faculty at the UT Health School of Public Health. Her research interests focus on tobacco use among youth and young adults. A behavioral epidemiologist by training, Dr. Harrell has served as a Senior Writer and Editor of 3 Surgeon General’s Reports and 1 Institute of Medicine Report on this topic, and she has over 125 peer-reviewed publications.  She has been a leading investigator on 13 federally funded grants from the NIH and CDC to date, totaling more than $35 million in direct costs.   Dr. Harrell completed her undergraduate studies at the College of William & Mary (BS, Biology, 1991) and received her MPH (1999) and PhD (2002) from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.  Since 2006, she has served on the faculty of UT Health, with appointments in the Departments of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Harrell’s extensive research portfolio includes behavioral surveillance and intervention studies in Texas and other international settings (e.g., Uruguay, India, Africa). Over half of her publications include students or trainees as first authors, underscoring a strong commitment to mentoring and teaching the next generation of public health professionals.

Download CV

Past Projects:

Activate Ya

Texas Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth & Young Adults

Current Projects

Age of Initiation of Tobacco Products Among USA Youth and Young Adults

Thumbnail image for Age of Initiation of Tobacco Products Among USA Youth and Young Adults

This study involves a prospective secondary analysis of the first three waves of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study among U.S. youth (aged 12-17 years) and young adults (aged 18-24 years) who reported never use at Wave 1.

Recent Publications

Rising vape pod popularity disrupted declining use of electronic nicotine delivery systems among young adults in Texas from 2014-2019.

Loukas A, Marti CN, Pasch KE, Harrell MB, Wilkinson AV, Perry CL. Addiction. 2022 Jan;117(1):216-223. doi: 10.1111/add.15616. Epub 2021 Jul 5. PMID: 34159679; PMCID: PMC8664970.

Longitudinal trajectories of E-cigarette use among adolescents: A 5-year, multiple cohort study of vaping with and without marijuana.

(Harrell, M. B., Chen, B., Clendennen, S. L., Sumbe, A., Case, K. R., Wilkinson, A. V., ... & Perry, C. L. (2021). Preventive Medicine, 106670.)

Emotional symptoms and sensation seeking: Implications for tobacco interventions for youth and young adults.

(Bataineh, B. S., Wilkinson, A. V., Case, K. R., Clendennen, S. L., Sumbe, A., Chen, B., & Harrell, M. B. (2021). Tobacco Prevention & Cessation, 7.)

Self-reported history of intensity of smoking is associated with risk factors for suicide among high school students.

(Dasagi, M. Mantey, D. S., Harrell, M. B., Wilkinson, A. V. (In Press). PLoS One.)

Multi-directional pathways of tobacco and marijuana use, including comorbid use, among a population-based cohort of adolescents in Texas: A six-wave cross-lagged model

(Rogers, S. M., Harrell, M. B., Chen, B., Springer, A., Loukas, A., & Perry, C. L. (2021). Addictive Behaviors, 115, 106771.)

Multiple tobacco product use among cigarette smokers: a longitudinal examination of menthol and non-menthol smokers during young adulthood

Mantey, D., Harrell, M., Chen, B., Kelder, S. H., Perry, C., & Loukas, A. (2022). Tobacco control, 31(3), 411–415.

Vaping with Flavors

Thumbnail image for Vaping with Flavors

12/17/2020 - Healthy Children, Healthy State. A one-pager on vaping with flavors from the Texas Child Health Status Report Project.

Vaping Advertisements and Teens

Thumbnail image for Vaping Advertisements and Teens

12/15/2020 - Healthy Children, Healthy State. A one-pager on vaping advertisements and teens in Texas from the Texas Child Health Status Report Project.

Age of initiation of cigarillos, filtered cigars and/or traditional cigars among youth: Findings from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, 2013–2017

(Chen B, Sterling K, Bluestein M, Harrell MB, Kuk AE, Perry CL, Pérez A (in press). PLOS One.)

A simulation of the potential impact of restricting tobacco retail outlets around middle and high schools on tobacco advertisements

Obinwa, U., Pasch, K. E., Jetelina, K. K., Ranjit, N., Perez, A., Perry, C., & Harrell, M. (2022). Tobacco control, 31(1), 81–87.

A Longitudinal Examination of Behavioral Transitions among Young Adult Menthol and Non-Menthol Cigarette Smokers Using a Three-State Markov Model.

(Mantey, D. S., Harrell, M. B., Chen, B., Kelder, S. H., Perry, C. L., & Loukas, A. (2020). Nicotine & Tobacco Research.)

Teen Vaping in Texas

Thumbnail image for Teen Vaping in Texas

9/16/2020 - Healthy Children, Healthy State. A one-pager on teen vaping in Texas from the Texas Child Health Status Report Project.

Understanding susceptibility to e-cigarettes: A comprehensive model of risk factors that influence the transition from non-susceptible to susceptible among e-cigarette naïve adolescents

Carey, F. R., Rogers, S. M., Cohn, E. A., Harrell, M. B., Wilkinson, A. V., et al. (2019). Addictive behaviors, 91, 68–74.

Youth or young adults: Which group is at highest risk for tobacco use onset?

Perry, C. L., Pérez, A., Bluestein, M., Garza, N., Obinwa, U., et al. (2018). The Journal of adolescent health: official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 63(4), 413–420.

Exploring physical activity engagement in secondary school students in Montevideo, Uruguay: A qualitative study

Parobii, I., Springer, A. E., Harrell, M. B., Gomensoro, L. M., Fresco, M. T., et al. (2018). International journal of child and adolescent health, 11(1), 47–56.

The transition from non-susceptible to susceptible to e-cigarette use among e-cigarette-naive adolescents: a comprehensive model of multiple risk factors' influence.

Carey, F. R., Rogers, S. M., Cohn, E. A., Harrell, M. B., Wilkinson, A. V., et al. (2019). Addictive behaviors, 91, 68–74.

E-cigarette-specific symptoms of nicotine dependence among Texas adolescents.

Case, K. R., Mantey, D. S., Creamer, M. R., Harrell, M. B., Kelder, S. H., et al. (2018). Addictive behaviors, 84, 57–61.

Measurement and predictive value of susceptibility to cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and hookah among Texas adolescents

Carey, F. R., Wilkinson, A. V., Harrell, M. B., Cohn, E. A., & Perry, C. L. (2018). Addictive behaviors reports, 8, 95–101.

Association between parent and child weight status among private school children in Delhi, India

Greene-Cramer, B., Harrell, M. B., Hoelscher, D. M., Sharma, S., Ranjit, N., et al. (2018). Global health promotion, 25(2), 67–74.

Real Time assessment of young adults' attitudes towards tobacco messages

Hébert, E. T., Vandewater, E. A., Businelle, M. S., Harrell, M. B., Kelder, S. H., et al. (2018). Tobacco regulatory science, 4(1), 644–655.

Type of E-Cigarette Device Used Among Adolescents and Young Adults: Findings From a Pooled Analysis of Eight Studies of 2166 Vapers

Barrington-Trimis, J. L., Gibson, L. A., Halpern-Felsher, B., Harrell, M. B., Kong, G., et al. (2018). Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 20(2), 271–274.

Type of e- cigarette device used among youth and young adults: Findings from a pooled analysis of 8 studies of 2,166 vapers

Barrington-Trimis, J. L., Gibson, L. A., Halpern-Felsher, B., Harrell, M. B., Kong, G., et al. (2018). Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 20(2), 271–274.

Weight status and cigarette and electronic cigarette use in adolescents

Delk, J., Creamer, M. R., Perry, C. L., & Harrell, M. B. (2018). American journal of preventive medicine, 54(1), e31–e35.

Positive outcome expectations and tobacco product use behaviors in youth

Creamer, M. R., Delk, J., Case, K., Perry, C. L., & Harrell, M. B. (2018). Substance use & misuse, 53(8), 1399–1402.

Recall of point-of-sale marketing predicts cigar and e-cigarette use among Texas youth

Pasch, K. E., Nicksic, N. E., Opara, S. C., Jackson, C., Harrell, M. B., et al. (2018). Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 20(8), 962–969.

Geospatial associations between retail tobacco outlets and current use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among youth in Texas

Pérez, A., Chien, L. C., Harrell, M. B., Pasch, K. E., Obinwa, U. C. et al. (2017). Journal of biometrics & biostatistics, 8(5), 375.

The relationships between sensation seeking and a spectrum of e-cigarette use behaviors in Texas adolescents: Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses specific to Texas adolescents

Case, K. R., Harrell, M. B., Pérez, A., Loukas, A., Wilkinson, A. V., et al. (2017). Addictive behaviors, 73, 151–157.

Exposure and engagement with tobacco- and e-cigarette-related social media

(Hébert ET, Case KR, Kelder SH, Delk J, Perry CL, Harrell MB; J Adolesc Health. 2017) Hébert, E. T., Case, K. R., Kelder, S. H., Delk, J., Perry, C. L., et al. (2017). The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 61(3), 371–377.

Implementation of a Computerized Tablet-Survey in an Adolescent Large-Scale, School-Based Study

Delk, J., Harrell, M. B., Fakhouri, T., Muir, K. A., & Perry, C. L. (2017). The Journal of school health, 87(7), 506–512.

The association between sensation seeking and e-cigarette use in Texas young adults: A cross-sectional study

Case, K. R., Loukas, A., PhD, Harrell, M. B., Wilkinson, A. V., Springer, A. E., et al. (2017). Journal of American college health : J of ACH, 65(4), 277–285.

Feasibility and reliability of a mobile tool to evaluate exposure to tobacco product marketing and messages using ecological momentary assessment

Hébert, E. T., Vandewater, E. A., Businelle, M. S., Harrell, M. B., Kelder, S. H., et al. (2017). Addictive behaviors, 73, 105–110.

Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance System’s design

Pérez, A., Harrell, M. B., Malkani, R. I., Jackson, C. D., Delk, J., et al. (2017). Tobacco regulatory science, 3(2), 151–167.

Subjective experiences at first use of cigarette, e-cigarettes, hookah, and cigar products among Texas adolescents

Mantey, D. S., Harrell, M. B., Case, K., Crook, B., Kelder, S. H., et al. (2017). Drug and alcohol dependence, 173, 10–16.

Flavored Tobacco Product Use among Youth and Young Adults: What if Flavors Didn’t Exist?

Harrell, M. B., Loukas, A., Jackson, C. D., Marti, C. N., & Perry, C. L. (2017). Tobacco regulatory science, 3(2), 168–173.

Recall of e-cigarette advertisements and adolescent e-cigarette use

Nicksic, N. E., Harrell, M. B., Pérez, A., Pasch, K. E., & Perry, C. L. (2017). Tobacco regulatory science, 3(2), 210–221.

The cigarette and smokeless tobacco markets in Texas relative to the United States

Miller Lo, E. J., Giovenco, D. P., Wackowski, O. A., Harrell, M. B., Perry, C. L., et al. (2017). Tobacco regulatory science, 3(2), 183–191.

In Their Own Words: Young Adults' Menthol Cigarette Initiation, Perceptions, Experiences and Regulation Perspectives

Wackowski, O. A., Evans, K. R., Harrell, M. B., Loukas, A., Lewis, M. J., et al. (2018). Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 20(9), 1076–1084.

Reducing tobacco use among low socio-economic status youth in Delhi, India: outcomes from project ACTIVITY, a cluster randomized trial

Harrell, M. B., Arora, M., Bassi, S., Gupta, V. K., Perry, C. L., et al. (2016). Health Education Research, 31(5), 624-638.

Flavored e-cigarette use: Characterizing youth, young adult, and adult users

Harrell, M. B., Weaver, S. R., Loukas, A., Creamer, M., Marti, C. N, et al. (2016). Preventive medicine reports, 5, 33–40.

Comparing young adults to older adults in e-cigarette perceptions and motivations for use: implications for health communication

Cooper, M., Harrell, M. B., & Perry, C. L. (2016). Health education research, 31(4), 429–438.

Flavorings and Perceived Harm and Addictiveness of E-cigarettes among Youth

Cooper, M., Harrell, M. B., Pérez, A., Delk, J., & Perry, C. L. (2016). Tobacco regulatory science, 2(3), 278–289.

Social Norms, Perceptions and Dual/Poly Tobacco Use among Texas Youth

Cooper, M., Creamer, M. R., Ly, C., Crook, B., Harrell, M. B., et al. (2016). American journal of health behavior, 40(6), 761–770.

College Students' Perceptions of Risk and Addictiveness of E-Cigarettes and Cigarettes

(Cooper M, Loukas A, Harrell MB, Perry CL; J Am Coll Health; 2016)

College students' polytobacco use, cigarette cessation, and dependence

(Loukas A, Chow S, Pasch KE, Li X, Hinds JT, Marti CN, Harrell MB, Creamer MR, Perry CL; Am J Health Behav.; 2016)

A qualitative approach to understanding real-world electronic cigarette use: Implications for measurement and regulation

(Cooper M, Harrell MB, Perry CL; Prev Chronic Dis.; 2016)

Trends in multiple tobacco product use, among high school students

(Creamer MR, Perry CL, Harrell MB, Diamond PM; Tob Regul Sci.; 2015)

Socioeconomic differences in the risk profiles of susceptibility and ever use of tobacco among Indian urban youth: A latent class approach

(Mathur C, Stigler, MH, Erickson DJ, Perry, CL, Finnegan J, Arora M, Reddy KS; Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 2014)

Change in tobacco use over time in urban Indian youth: The moderating role of socioeconomic status

(Mathur C, Stigler, MH, Erickson DJ, Perry, CL, Finnegan J, Arora M, Reddy KS; Health Education and Behavior, 2014)

Transitions in smoking behavior during emerging adulthood: A longitudinal analysis of the effect of home smoking bans

(Mathur C, Stigler MH, Erickson DJ, Perry CL, Forster J; American Journal of Public Health, 2014)

The cost-effectiveness of a school-based smoking prevention program in India

(Brown HS, Stigler MH, Perry CL, Dhavan P, Arora M, Reddy KS; Health Promotion International, 2013)

Regular breakfast intake and its association with obesity among urban Delhi students

(Arora M, Nazar GP, Stigler MH, Gupta VK, Perry CL, Reddy KS ; BMC Public Health , 2012)

Exposure to multiple components of a garden-based intervention for middle school students increases fruit and vegetable consumption

(Evans AE, Ranjit N, Rutledge R, Medina J, Jennings R, Smiley A, Stigler MH, Hoelscher DM; Health Promotion Practice, 2012)

Discussions with adults and youth to inform the development of a community-based tobacco control programme

(Arora M, Tewari A, Dhavan P, Nazar G, Juneja SN, Stigler MH, Perry CL, Reddy KS ; Health Education Research , 2012)

A qualitative mediation study to evaluate a school-based tobacco prevention program in India (Project MYTRI)

(Bate SL, Stigler MH, Thompson M, MacKinnon D, Arora M, Perry CL, Reddy KS ; Field Methods, 2014)

Introduction of farm stands in low-income communities increases fruit and vegetable consumption among community residents

(Evans AE, Jennings R, Smiley A, Medina J, Sharma SV, Rutledge R, Stigler MH, Hoelscher DM; Journal of Health & Place , 2012)

Experimenting with cigarettes and physical activity among Mexican origin youth: A cross sectional analysis of the interdependent associations among sensation seeking, acculturation, and gender

(Wilkinson AV, Okeke N, Springer AE, Stigler MH, Pettee-Gabriel, K, Prokhorov AP, Bondy LM, Spitz MR ; BMC Public Health , 2012)

Direct and indirect associations between internalized homonegativity and high-risk sex

(Smolenski D, Stigler MH, Ross M, Rosser BRS; Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2011)

Impact of tobacco advertisements on tobacco use among urban adolescents in India: Results from a longitudinal study

(Arora M, Gupta V, Nazar GP, Stigler MH, Perry CL; Tobacco Control, 2011)

A mediation analysis of a tobacco prevention program for adolescents in India: How did project MYTRI Work?

(Stigler MH, Perry CL, Smolenski D, Arora M, Reddy KS; Health Education and Behavior, 2011)

Effectiveness of health promotion in preventing tobacco use among adolescents in India: Research Evidence Informs the National Tobacco Control Programme in India

(Arora M, Stigler MH. ; Global Health Promotion , 2011)

Using salivary cotinine to validate self-reports of tobacco use by Indian youth living in low-income neighborhoods

(Dhavan P, Bassi S, Stigler MH, Arora M, Gupta VK, Perry CL, Ramakrishnan L, Reddy KS ; Asia Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention , 2011)

Weight-related concerns and weight- control behaviors among overweight and non-overweight adolescents in Delhi, India: A cross-sectional study

(Stigler MH, Arora M, Dhavan P, Shrivastav R, Reddy KS, Perry CL; International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 2011)

School-based programs to prevent and reduce alcohol use among youth

(Stigler MH, Neusel E, Perry CL; Alcohol Research & Health, 2011)

Recent News

Restricting flavored tobacco could curb youth use

Thumbnail image for Restricting flavored tobacco could curb youth use

Policies that restrict flavored tobacco access can reduce teen use in as little as six months, a study in Massachusetts suggests. Researchers compared two towns 30 miles apart and found that after one community passed a restrictive policy in 2016, flavored tobacco availability and use dropped the next year.

LOADING...
LOADING...