Dr. Justin Byron

M. Justin Byron, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Health Behavior
Assistant Professor
Department of Family Medicine, UNC School of Medicine


Justin Byron is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC School of Medicine and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He earned his PhD in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Global Public Health and has 10 years of experience in health research. Dr. Byron uses behavioral science to learn how to improve health communication to support health policies in the US and abroad. He focuses on tobacco control and is currently developing a smoking cessation campaign for people who use both e-cigarettes and cigarettes. He also studies public perceptions of a possible FDA reduced nicotine cigarette policy.

M. Justin Byron in the Gillings News

Honors and Awards

Selected Speaker at Annual Scientific Retreat
2016, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

Doctoral Special Project Research Award
2012, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Hopkins Sommer Scholarship
2009, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

2009, Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, Alpha Chapter

Key Publications

Icons for health effects of cigarette smoke: A test of semiotic type. Lazard, A. J., Schmidt, A., Vu, H., Byron, M. J., Peters, E., Boynton, M. H., & Brewer, N. T. (2017). Journal of Behavioral Medicine, advance online publication.

How hearing about harmful chemicals affects smokers’ interest in dual use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes. Pepper, J. K., Byron, M. J., Ribisl, K. R., & Brewer, N. T. (2017). Preventive Medicine, 96(1), 144–148.

Using the theory of normative social behavior to understand low compliance with smoke-free laws in a middle-income country. Byron, M. J., Cohen, J. E., Frattaroli, S., Gittelsohn, J., & Jernigan, D. H. (2016). Health Education Research, 31(6), 738-748.

Public understanding of cigarette smoke constituents: Three United States surveys. Brewer, N. T., Morgan, J. C., Baig, S. A., Mendel, J. R., Boynton, M. H., Pepper, J.K., Byron, M. J., Noar, S. M., Agans, R. P., & Ribisl, K. M. (2016). Tobacco Control, advance online publication.

Adolescents’ and adults’ perceptions of ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘additive-free’ cigarettes, and the required disclaimers. Byron, M. J., Baig, S. A., Moracco, K. E., & Brewer, N. T. (2016). Tobacco Control, 25(5), 517-520.


  • PhD, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2014
  • MHS, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2009
  • BA, Psychology and Philosophy, Boston College, 2000