Providing resources to researchers

The projects in the USC-TCORS require access to population resources with sufficient representation of tobacco product exposures, population subgroups, and longitudinal follow-up. The USC-TCORS Population Core (PC) will provide this access by recruiting and maintaining a sufficiently large, diverse, and well-followed sample to address the proposed scientific goals. We leverage data from a highly successful 2013-2018 initial funding period, in which we developed and tracked two cohorts with excellent retention. For 2018-2023, the Population Core (PC) proposes the following aims.


The Population Core cohorts will provide an unmatched population resource in terms of diversity, follow-up length, measurement intensity, and richness of data. Our resource will complement and provide unique information to other large samples such as the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health survey by providing population diversity, product diversity assessment, and tobacco product exposure analysis that is not otherwise available. The tobacco product marketplace and the use of tobacco products in the population has undergone a marked shift this decade. In the peak of the tobacco epidemic, use of tobacco in the population was fairly even across many sociodemographic populations. The market was dominated by a single product (i.e., combustible cigarettes) and adult use far outnumbered use in youth. Trends in tobacco use has since transformed. The proliferation of new products that have rapidly increased in popularity, particularly among youth, such as e-cigarettes, has provided new challenges to population-based tobacco regulatory science.


Children’s Health Study (CHS)

Ages: 20-22

Sample Size: 1,366

Happiness and Health (H&H)

Ages: 18-19

Sample Size: 2,534

Trends in Tobacco Use Survey(TITUS)

Ages: 14

Sample Size: 2,500

Project Aims

    Aim 1

    Expand, follow, track, and assess a Center-wide combined cohort. The PC will leverage data collected during the current award from two samples of adolescents, now young adults, for additional follow-up.

    Aim 2

    Facilitate access to other population resources outside of the Center-wide cohort within the USC Department of Preventive Medicine. The PC will enhance existing connections with and access to population cohorts and archival databases including numerous diverse samples.

    Principal Investigators

    Rob McConnell, MD

    Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences

    Jennifer Unger, PhD

    Professor of Population and Public Health Sciences

    Vice Chair for Faculty Development

    Director of PhD program in Health Behavior Research