Erika S. Trapl, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences
School of Medicine
Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods
School of Medicine
Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Population and Cancer Prevention Program

Dr. Erika S. Trapl is an epidemiologist using statistical methodologies to investigate health behavior. Her research is focused on adolescent health risk behavior and multiple determinants of health and tobacco prevalence and prevention. She has extensive experience in community-based tobacco control research and evaluation, with specific interest in cigar, cigarillo and little cigar use among urban adolescents and young adults. The majority of her projects over the past 15 years have involved longitudinal data collection to inform interventions to promote health behavior change. Through this work she has made a substantial contribution to the literature in the areas of tobacco control, dietary behavior, and sexual behavior among adolescents.

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

Introduction to Health Behavior

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Tobacco control and little cigars
  • Built environment and obesity
  • Food access and the food environment
  • Adolescent sexual behavior
  • Health behavior measurement and surveillance
  • Survey-based data collection methods and technology
  • Community-based Interventions

Professional Memberships

American Academy of Health Behavior
American Public Health Association
Healthy Cleveland, BreatheFree Committee Chair
Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco


View All Publications

Publishing impact  

Metrics from Web of Science/publons and Scopus/SciVal: 

  • H-index: 11
  • Total publications: 59
  • Total citations:  558
  • Publications in top-tier journals: 33% 
  • Collaborative publishing national/international: 94%/6%

Editorial roles:

  • American Journal of Health Behavior, editorial board
  • Health Behavior and Policy Review, associate editor
  • Health Behavior Research, editor of special issue


Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University
Bachelor of Arts
Case Western Reserve University

Additional Information

Contributions to science:

  • Examine the measurement and use of cigars, cigarillos and little cigars among adolescents and cigar use among adults in Cuyahoga county 
  • Understanding and intervening upon multiple levels of influence associated with adolescent risk behaviors that contribute to chronic disease. This has involved the development of social environment measures as well as built environment measures, including a comprehensive, ground-truth city-wide food and tobacco retail database. 
  • Understanding the role of the social and physical environment on health and behavior, with a focus on using the environment as an intervention to influence behavior 

Active grants:

  • NIH/NCI 2P30: Case Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant
  • CDC and Cuyahoga County Board of Health: Creating synergies around access and opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity and quality health care
  • NIH/NCI and US FDA: Implied modified risk statements as predictors of flavored little cigar and cigarillo use
  • Ohio Department of Health: Tobacco Disparities Demonstration: A multi-level approach to reducing tobacco use in low-income minority neighborhoods
  • CDC: CWRU Prevention Research Network
  • NIH NCI/FDA R01: Measurement of nicotine dependence among adolescent cigarillo users
  • CDC and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District: Surveillance for school-based HIV/STI prevention
  • Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research: Modeling the future of food in your neighborhood
  • Cleveland Foundation: Cleveland-Cuyahoga Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • Summit County Public Health: Summit County Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Student and mentee totals, over Case Western Reserve University career:

  • PhD: 6           
  • A sampling of CWRU PhD graduates and Post-docs’ current careers:  
    • Department of Nutrition Dominican University, Assistant Professor
    • IBM