Department of Health Behavior and Health Education
Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Kurt M. Ribisl
Dr. Kurt M. Ribisl

Kurt M. Ribisl, Ph.D. is a professor in the Department of Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the Program Leader for Cancer Prevention and Control at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Ribisl’s primary research interest is evaluating and improving the reach of population-level efforts to reduce tobacco use, with a particular emphasis on policy and information technology. He specializes in studying policy issues related to the sales and marketing of tobacco products at the point of sale and on the Internet. He has researched tobacco product marketing, pricing, promotions, and youth access, as well as use of geographic information systems (GIS) in tobacco control. He has evaluated the impact of local, state, federal (e.g., Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act), and global policies related to the sales and marketing of tobacco products. Dr. Ribisl is the principal investigator of the $19.4M Center for Regulatory Research in Tobacco Communication funded by the NIH Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) program (RFA-DA-13-003). He is also a multi-principal investigator (with Drs. Lisa Henriksen and Doug Luke) of the NCI-funded grant “Maximizing state & local policies to restrict tobacco marketing at point of sale” (1U01CA154281), which is collecting national data on tobacco product marketing, tobacco retailer density, and state tobacco control activities focused on the point of sale.

He received his doctorate in community psychology from Michigan State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease prevention and epidemiology at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Ribisl is the author of over 130 scientific articles, and his research has been published in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Tobacco Control. He is the co-founder of Counter Tobacco, a point-of-sale resource (, and of the nonprofit Counter Tools (, which focuses on advancing place-based public health. He was also a member of the congressionally mandated Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products.