Dr. Benson’s public health work has focused on tobacco-related issues. Broadly speaking, he is interested in cultures of capitalism, worlds of production and consumption, health politics, the ways that harmful and risky products are governed, and the powerful influence of corporations and industries on conditions of life.
Dr. Benson’s primary research project is a study of tobacco agriculture and Mexican farm labor migration. His latest award-winning book is titled Tobacco Capitalism: Growers, Migrant Workers, and the Changing Face of a Global Industry. Dr. Benson has recently engaged in a study of how the tobacco consumption marketplace has evolved in the U.S. in the recent years amid the introduction of supposedly “safer” tobacco products and the emergence of “corporate social responsibility” campaigns among tobacco companies. He is also interested in collaborative projects that focus on chronic disease research and prevention.