Research Associate, School of Medicine
Cancer Prevention and Control
Area of Interest
Rebecca S. Williams MHS, PhD, is a researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She has spent the last 20 years studying the sales and marketing practices of websites that sell tobacco products, with a keen eye towards policy change related to tax evasion and youth access prevention. This research has had a strong impact on shaping state and federal policy surrounding Internet cigarette sales. While it has focused primarily on tobacco, this research has yielded strategies that can also be (and in some cases have been) applied to online sales of other restricted products, such as alcohol, drugs, firearms, and pornography.
In addition to her work on Internet tobacco sales, for the past 15 years she has coordinated research and technology needs as the Chief Technology Officer for the national CDC- and NCI-funded Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, with a focus on dissemination of evidence-based approaches to cancer control. Williams, who was trained at the University of Rochester, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and University of North Carolina School of Public Health, is the author of numerous scientific articles in journals such as the American Journal of Public Health, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and Tobacco Control.