Marielle Brinkman is an analytical chemist and Senior Research Scientist at the Ohio State University College of Public Health Epidemiology Division, where she co-leads five studies in the area of tobacco regulatory control. Ms. Brinkman has over 30 years of experience leading multidisciplinary research on the measurement of human exposures to environmental toxicants, focusing mainly on exposures from tobacco product use for the last 21 years. Her research focuses on how the physical and chemical properties of tobacco products affect their addictiveness, toxicity, and appeal, and includes the use of non-invasive physicochemical measurement techniques, clinical trials, and laboratory emissions testing.
Her talk, entitled “Hookah: a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” discusses the scientific evidence needed to inform the regulation of hookah, a tobacco product that is widely misperceived as less harmful and addictive than all other combustible tobacco products in the marketplace. Popularly used by young college students, the characteristics of the product that make it appealing and easy for non-smokers to try also serve to increase its toxicity and addiction potential. The work discussed was designed to inform effective regulations that reduce tobacco-related death and disease worldwide.