Dr. Valerie Yerger
Valerie B. Yerger, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor and Professor in Health Policy at the University of California, San Francisco. She is also a founding member of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC). The overarching goal of Dr. Yerger’s work is to frame the disproportionate burden of tobacco among marginalized communities as a social injustice, and to inform public health policies so they effectively reach these communities. For almost twenty years, she has studied the tobacco industry’s marketing practices and tactics to addict African Americans to nicotine. Her research of previously secret tobacco documents uncovered the tobacco industry’s relationship with African American leadership groups, the accumulation of nicotine in tissues containing melanin, the disproportionate marketing of menthol cigarettes in inner-city communities, and tobacco companies’ in-house research on the use of menthol as an additive in cigarettes.