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Zheng (Ashley) Xue, MSPH

Senior Associate Scientist
Tobacco Control Research

young Asian woman with long brown hair, white collar, and champagne pearl earrings

What Inspires Me

My empathy for people and families affected by cancer led me to study how effective health policies can help prevent cancer, prolong life for cancer patients, and improve the quality of life for survivors, families, caregivers, and the population at large. My research aspires to inform health policies that will create a world with less cancer and more birthdays."

At ACS since 2021

As a Senior Associate Scientist within Surveillance & Health Equity Science (SHES), Ashley Xue, MSPH, develops original tobacco-control research with a focus on assessing the impacts of public-health policies and the tobacco industries’ activities. She leads research projects and collaborates with researchers both within and outside the American Cancer Society (ACS). 

Xue currently leads on the following two projects:

  • Equivalence of cigarette and e-cigarette use
  • The impact of Tobacco 21 law on smoking initiation among youth

Xue also provides analytical support to senior staff members on the following projects:

  • Productivity loss from tobacco-attributable cancer
  • Policy evaluation of tobacco products flavor ban

Research focus and accomplishments

Xue conducts her research through a variety of data sources—population health survey data, claims data, and marketing data, etc. 

Her recent research evaluated the impact of Tobacco 21 law (T21) on the sales of cigarette brands purchased by young people. She and her colleagues used the  Nielsen ScanTrack data and the National Survey on Drug Use and Health to identify cigarette brands where people under 21 who smoke comprised a disproportionately high share of consumption. Her study translated population health survey data to gain insights into market data for policy analysis and added compelling empirical evidence that T21 decreased young people's purchases of the cigarettes.


For a full list of Xue's publications, visit her Google Scholar page.




Work before ACS

  • KDH Research & Communication, Tobacco Strategist II
  • Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, Assistant Program Coordinator
  • American Cancer Society, Data Analyst
  • American Cancer Society, REAL intern


  • MSPH: Health Policy and Health Services Research, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, 2020
  • BA: Finance (Financial Economics), Capital University of Economics and Business, China, 2018
  • Visiting scholar, Economics, Texas A&M University, 2016


Ashley currently lives in Atlanta, GA. Outside work, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and dance fitness.