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Anna Kostygina

Pronouns: She/Her

Principal Research Scientist
Anna leads mixed method research to advance our understanding of media’s influence on tobacco control and behaviors associated with other substance use.

Anna is a principal research scientist at NORC and a member of the Social Data Collaboratory, an interdisciplinary social data research team at NORC. Her work centers on advancing communication science and technology for tobacco control and health promotion. Specifically, she has conducted research on topics related to tobacco product marketing and counter-marketing on traditional and digital media. In this research, she employs a number of methodological approaches including machine learning, experiments, surveys, and qualitative methods to generate insights about the process by which marketing messages and other information about tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and illicit drugs are shared and processed across a variety of mediated and interpersonal channels, as well as how these messages influence and reflect behavior.

Anna’s research has been funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and  the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institute of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products, and Truth Initiative. Most recently, she has led projects that characterized the content and sources of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts related to smokeless tobacco, cigar, little cigar, cigarillo, flavored tobacco and nicotine product promotion. In addition, these studies analyzed the intended and unintended effects of exposure to tobacco-related social media messages. She has also worked with Truth Initiative to explore social promotion of JUUL electronic cigarettes and heated tobacco products and to evaluate public response to the flavored tobacco and nicotine product sales restrictions using social data analysis.

These interests build on her prior postdoctoral research training at the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, where she worked on the National Cancer Institute-funded project exploring smokeless and combustible alternative tobacco product marketing and counter-marketing. Her agenda is also informed by her prior community-based work at the University of Kentucky Tobacco Policy Research Program, where she collaborated on a NHLBI-funded intervention project aimed to evaluate messages promoting smoke-free policies in rural Kentucky communities.

Project Contributions

Menthol Cigarettes & Social Justice Views

Understanding the perceptions of those targeted by marketing of flavored tobacco


Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Assessing the Effects of Cigar Promotion on Social Media

The first comprehensive study to examine the effects of social media promotion of cigars on tobacco and marijuana use


National Cancer Institute

Social Media’s Influence on Flavored Tobacco Use

Investigation of youth-targeted flavored tobacco promotion on social media to inform regulatory decisions


National Institute on Drug Abuse; Food & Drug Administration