Sally Herndon, MPH

Adjunct Instructor
Department of Health Behavior
North Carolina Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch
N.C. Division of Public Health
5605 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC 27609


Sally Herndon, MPH, is Head of the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch, Division of Public Health, NC Department of Health and Human Services. She has been a leader in NC public health’s efforts in tobacco prevention and control since 1991. She helped build support for and successfully implement the 2010 law that makes all N.C. restaurants and bars smoke-free as well as to restore local government authority to make government buildings, grounds, and public indoor spaces smoke-free/tobacco free. She is part of the leadership team of the Duke-UNC Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Program, which is nationally accredited. She is currently working with staff and partners to plan for the use of funding provided in the NC Department of Justice’s Settlement Agreement with the e-cigarette company JUUL, which provides business conduct provisions and $19 million for evidence-based tobacco prevention and cessation in 2022-2024. Her education and training include an MPH from the Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her ongoing work involves working with state, regional and local partners to 1) reduce tobacco use by young people; 2) eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke; 3) help promote evidence-based tobacco treatment and help all tobacco users quit; and 3) address health equity by identifying and eliminating commercial tobacco product-related inequities and disparities. In addition, she is currently Interim Principal Investigator of North Carolina DHHS Grant from CDC-RFA-OT21-2103 National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities.   

Teaching Interests

- Creativity in Leadership: Managing State and Community Tobacco Prevention and Control Programs
- Tobacco Use Prevention Training Institute

Research Activities

- Health policy
- Tobacco prevention and control

- Leader in N.C. public health efforts in tobacco prevention and control since 1991
- Manages the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch (formerly the National Cancer Institute’s Project ASSIST) with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and grant resources from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Legacy Foundation, and the Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission
- Helped build support for the 2010 law that makes all N.C. restaurants and bars smoke-free; worked with state and local partners to successfully implement the new law

Staff/Administrative Duties

For the Department of Health Behavior:
- Capstone preceptor for Smoke-free Affordable Housing Project
- Classroom and continuing education lectures on “Policy and Media Interventions in Tobacco Prevention and Control”
- Faculty research collaboration to lay groundwork for policy interventions in N.C. tobacco control related to FDA authority