Next Generation Tobacco: The Impact of E-Cigarettes on Kentucky's Future Health

Louisville, Kentucky
Monday, December 10, 2018

Brian King
, PhD
Deputy Director, Office on Smoking & Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Brian King, PhD, MPH, is the Deputy Director for Research Translation in the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this capacity, he is responsible for providing scientific leadership and technical expertise to CDC/OSH, the lead federal agency for comprehensive tobacco prevention and control.

Dr. King joined the CDC in 2010 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, before which he worked as a Research Affiliate in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. During his time at Roswell Park, his primary research focus related to tobacco prevention and control. Dr. King has worked for over a decade to provide sound scientific evidence to inform tobacco control policy and to effectively communicate this information to key stakeholders, including decision makers, the media, and the general public.

He has authored or co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles pertaining to tobacco prevention and control, was a contributing author to the 50th Anniversary Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health, was the lead author of CDC’s 2014 update to the evidence-based state guide, “Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs,” and was the senior associate editor of the 2016 Surgeon General’s Report, “E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults.” Dr. King holds a PhD and MPH in Epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Pat Purcell, MD
President, Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

Patricia Purcell M.D. is a general pediatrician in private practice who has practiced for 20 years. In addition, Dr. Purcell serves as an Assistant Gratis Clinical Professor with the Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine. She received her M.D. from the Medical College of Ohio, her M.B.A. from the Kelley School of Business, and her B.A. from Otterbein University.  Dr. Purcell completed a Pediatric residency at Kentucky’s Norton Children’s Hospital. Dr. Purcell is President of the Kentucky Chapter of the AAP, having also served as Secretary/Treasurer and Vice President. She resides in Louisville, KY. She can be reached at

Scott Weaver, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Georgia State University

Scott Weaver, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics for the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. Prior to coming to Georgia State University, he completed a NRSA postdoctoral fellowship in Prevention Science and Quantitative Methodology at Arizona State University’s Prevention Research Center (2005-2007). Identifying primarily as a prevention scientist and quantitative methodologist, Dr. Weaver has more than a decade of experience conducting research on minority and immigrant health and health disparities; substance use and risky youth behaviors; social and cultural determinants of health; systems interventions for promoting positive youth and family outcomes; and global urban health. Recently, his research has been focused on novel and alternative tobacco products, particularly electronic nicotine delivery systems, heated tobacco products, and little cigars & cigarillos; the factors that influence decisions to use tobacco products; and tobacco regulatory science.

He is a co-investigator and lead researcher for the FDA/NIH-funded Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science at Georgia State (PI: Dr. Michael Eriksen) and principal investigator of an FDA/NIH-funded grant to examine the impact of warning labels on youth intentions to purchase electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes). A recent study co-authored by Dr. Weaver found no evidence that use of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, “within context of the 2015–2016 US regulatory and tobacco/vaping market landscape, helped adult smokers quit at rates higher than smokers who did not use these products.”

Audrey Darville, PhD, APRN, CTTS, FAANP
Associate Professor and Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, University of Kentucky

In addition to providing cessation counseling for patients and employees, Dr. Darville works on developing system strategies to identify, assess, and treat those with tobacco dependence in a variety of settings at UK HealthCare (inpatient, outpatient, employee) and in the community (Salvation Army). She is involved with the Kentucky Tobacco Policy Research Program, on the board of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) and is a member of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT). Her research interest is tobacco use cessation in hard-to-treat smokers and in those with medical illness. Her dissertation is titled: Medically Ill Smokers and Planning to Quit.

Melissa Abadi, PhD
Research Scientist, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation

Currently, Dr. Abadi is PI on a NIDA-funded R03 to assess within-persons and between-persons associations of e-cigarette and dual tobacco/nicotine use among youth (ages 13-17) in Kentucky, a critically important population when considering public health impact of e-cigarette use and needed FDA regulation, especially since e-cigarette use rates in Kentucky are three times higher among adolescents than the national average. Abadi is also PI on a SAMHSA-funded Drug-Free Communities grant for Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition (CCADC), which includes an annual county-wide survey of about 2,000 students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 in rural Tennessee and asks questions about a wide variety of substance use behaviors, beliefs, and intentions in order to determine prevalence and intervention impact.

Terry Brooks, PhD
Executive Director, Kentucky Youth Advocates

Dr. Terry Brooks is in his 15th year as the Executive Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. Before joining KYA, Dr. Brooks served as a teacher, principal, and central office senior administrator in a variety of districts throughout Kentucky. He later led teams of educators, business leaders, and health and human service professionals with a focus on turn-around projects in a variety of American communities as a Senior Reform Associate with the Community Training and Assistance Center. During his tenure at Kentucky Youth Advocates, the organization has grown significantly. As the independent voice for Kentucky’s children, KYA believes that all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. Through policy advocacy and mobilization, KYA is making Kentucky the best place in America to be young. 

Allison Adams, MPA, RN, CLC 
President, Kentucky Health Departments Association

 Allison Adams, MPA, RN, CLC, is the current President of the Kentucky Health Department Association. Allison began her career as the Public Health Director for the Buffalo Trace District Health Department in August of 2008. As the Director, she is responsible for the operation of a small multicounty health department and ensuring the delivery of a broad range of public health services to 20,000 residents. Allison has a Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Medicine from Marietta College and a Master of Public Administration from Northern Kentucky University.  She completed the Kentucky Public Health Leadership Institute from the School of Public Health at the University of Kentucky. She also holds a Certificate for lactation counseling. Allison completed an associate degree in nursing in the Spring of 2016. Prior to becoming the Public Health Director, Allison served as the community health educator for the Buffalo Trace District Health Department for 8 years. While in her role as health educator she was instrumental in building community partnerships with the goal of improving the health status of Mason and Robertson County residents. 

Allison believes strongly in the value of public health and its influence in disease prevention.  As the public health director, she has begun efforts to grow the capacity of her local health department to meet all aspect of public health.  She sees the need to engage public health staff, local elected officials, key leaders, and the community to embrace their role in addressing the social determinants of health. Allison has made it her presidential mission in Kentucky to develop the local health department director’s role of Chief Health Strategist.

Eric Kennedy, JD
Government Relations Director, Kentucky School Boards Association

Eric Kennedy is the Director of Governmental Relations for KSBA, the Kentucky School Boards Association. In this role, he advocates for the interests of locally-elected school board members, superintendents, and their students, to state and federal policymakers. Prior to joining KSBA in 2016, he served as counsel to the Appropriations and Revenue Committees of the General Assembly, where he drafted state and local tax legislation, and provisions of the state budget. Eric is the life-long product of Kentucky public schools, graduating from Paducah Tilghman High School in 2001, receiving a B.A. in Political Science and Religious Studies from the University of Louisville, and a Juris Doctorate from the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. Eric was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 2009, and is a grateful foster and adoptive parent. 

Amy Barkley
Regional Advocacy Director, Tobacco States and Mid Atlantic Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Amy Barkley is a member of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids’ “State Team” and is based in Louisville, Kentucky. In that role, she provides technical assistance and strategic advice on tobacco control policy to advocates in some of the historically tobacco producing states - Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee – as well as Ohio, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and D.C. Amy has worked in tobacco control for the past 25 years at the local, state and national level.  

Prior to joining the Campaign in 2000, Amy served as a Project Manager and consultant for the statewide tobacco control coalition Kentucky ACTION where she helped to direct the legislative, grassroots, media and youth advocacy efforts of the coalition. 

 Amy also served as the Executive Director of a Kentucky-based non-profit organization, the Coalition for Health and Agricultural Development (known as CHAD) from 1995 - 2004. CHAD was a leader in establishing a dialogue between tobacco farmers and health advocates statewide and regionally.
In addition to her tobacco control work, Amy served as Legislative Aide to former Congresswoman Anne Northup, then a KY State Representative, from 1995-1996.  Amy also worked on Northup’s first congressional campaign in 1996.

Before moving to Kentucky in 1995, Amy worked in tobacco control in North Carolina, first as a Program Director for the American Cancer Society in Greensboro, then as a founding member and local coalition coordinator for the ASSIST project.  Prior to that, she was a news reporter and producer at several television and radio stations in Virginia.

Aruni Bhatnagar, Ph.D., is the Smith and Lucille Gibson Chair in Medicine at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. He is a professor and distinguished university scholar in the Institute of Molecular Cardiology, professor of medicine, and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology. He joined UofL in 1998. Dr. Bhatnagar is a Distinguished University Scholar and a Fellow of the American Heart Association.

His research interests include cardiovascular effects of environmental pollutants, atherosclerosis, injury from loss of blood to the heart muscle, cardiovascular complications of diabetes, and sepsis. Bhatnagar’s work has led to the creation of the new field of environmental cardiology. His research is supported by several grants from the National Institutes of Health, including two program-projects.

Dr. Bhatnagar is a graduate of Kanpur University, India and received his post-doctoral training at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. He is currently serving on the Editorial Boards of both Circulation Research and Circulation, has participated in over 50 National Institutes of Health review panels and is the author of over 120 publications.


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