Peers Against Tobacco

As “tobacco-free” started to become the norm for Texas’ universities, campuses needed a fresh approach to tobacco cessation and prevention. I designed the research methods for a tobacco prevention campaign led by University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). My research resulted in the creation of the Peers Against Tobacco campaign, which was implemented on diverse campuses throughout the state including El Paso Community College, Texas Women's College, and Stephen F. Austin University.  


  • Traditional focus groups are prone to profound inaccuracies, as they are driven by powerful group dynamics and a bias towards verbally-expressed opinions
  • "Liberating Structures" and other non-traditional discussion/ideation tactics have the ability to draw out opinions from introverted personalities or those who express thoughts more coherently in non-verbal forms; an example can be found in Profound Things
  • Teens and adults are misinformed about the harmful effects of hookah use (1 hour of hookah equals approximately 100-200 cigarettes) 


My Roles:

  • Wrote a focus-group guide based on “Liberating Structures,” the communication strategies from “The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures, Lipmanowicz/McCandless, 2013” 
  • Researched data and strategized how it would be reported for the campaign's "Big Idea"
  • Reported findings to our full Creative team, resulting in one of the first campaigns in the nation to break down the perception that e-cigs and vaping were “harmless”