Ken Ward

Kenneth D. Ward, PhD

Professor and Director, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Interim Director, Division of Health Systems Management and Policy

201 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only

About Kenneth D. Ward


Kenneth D. Ward, PhD is Professor and Director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Interim Director of the Division of Health Systems Management and Policy. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, and Intervention Director of the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies. Trained as a clinical health psychologist, Dr. Ward's research focuses on community-, healthcare system-, and population-level approaches to reduce the burden of tobacco use.  He is especially interested in improving methods to help smokers quit and is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist.  Other interests include behavioral and community approaches to improve chronic conditions such as such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.

Dr. Ward is a fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and the Society of Behavioral Medicine, and was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.  At the University of Memphis, he is the recipient of the Faudree Professorship and the Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award.

Current research projects include: (1) Epidemiology, prevention, and treatment of waterpipe ("hookah") and cigarette smoking in the U.S. and Middle East; (2) improving delivery of lung cancer treatment services, including smoking cessation (with Baptist Cancer Center); (3) effects of stress and tobacco use on birth outcomes; (4) use of tobacco and other substances in the aftermath of a disaster; and (5) mHealth interventions to improve children's health.


  • Residency, Clinical Psychology Residency Training Consortium, University of Mississippi Medical Center/GV "Sonny" Montgomery Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jackson, MS
  • PhD, Clinical Psychology, University of Memphis
  • MS, Clinical Psychology, University of Memphis
  • AB, Psychology, Brown University

Research Interests

  • Tobacco use epidemiology and intervention
  • Behavioral and community-based prevention of chronic disease
  • Global health

Courses Taught

  • PUBH 7130/8130: Social Determinants of Health (syllabus)
  • PUBH 7161/8161: Health Behavior Theories (syllabus)
  • PUBH 7343/8343: Tobacco Use: Causes, Consequences and Control
  • PUBH 7450/8450: Randomized Clinical Trials (syllabus)
  • PUBH 8901: Doctoral Professional Development Seminar (syllabus)

Recent Publications

  1. Akl, E., Ward, K.D., Bteddini, D., Khaliel, R., Alexander, A.C., Loutfi, T., Alaouie, H., & Afifi R.A. (2015). The allure of the waterpipe: a narrative review of factors affecting the epidemic rise in waterpipe smoking among young persons globally. Tobacco Control, 27 (suppl 1), i13-i21.
  2. Alexander, A.C., Ali, J., McDevitt-Murphy, M.E., Forde, D.R., Stockton, M., Read, M., & Ward, K.D.  Racial differences in posttraumatic stress disorder vulnerability following Hurricane Katrina among a sample of adult smokers from New Orleans.  In press, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities.
  3. Alexander, A.C., Robinson, L.A., & Ward, K.D.  Religious beliefs against smoking among black and white urban youth.  In press, Journal of Religion and Health.
  4. Alzyoud, S., Kheirallah, K.A., Ward, K.D., Al-Shdayfat, N.M., & Alzyoud, A.A. (2015). Association of religious commitment and tobacco use among Muslim adolescents.  Journal of Religion and Health. 54, 2111-2121.
  5. Asfar, T., Ward, K.D., Al-Ali, R., & Maziak, W. (2016). Building evidence-based tobacco treatment in the Eastern Mediterranean region: lessons learned by the Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies. Journal of Smoking Cessation, 11, 116-123.
  6. Bahelah, R., DiFranza, J.R., Fouad, F.M., Ward, K.D., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak, W. Comparison of the prevalence and early symptoms of waterpipe dependence among adolescent waterpipe and cigarette smokers. In press, Tobacco Control.
  7. Ben Taleb, Z., Ward, K.D., Asfar, T., Jaber, R., Auf, R., & Maziak, W. Predictors of nicotine withdrawal symptoms: findings from the first randomized smoking cessation trial in a low-income country setting.  In press, International Journal of Public Health.
  8. Ben Taleb, Z., Ward, K.D., Bahela, R., & Fennie, K., & Maziak, W. (2015). Predictors of adherence to pharmacological and behavioral treatment in a cessation trial among smokers in Aleppo, Syria. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 153, 167-172.
  9. Jaber, R., Madhivanan, P., Khader, Y., Mzayek, F., Ward, K.D., & Maziak. W.  (2015). Predictors of waterpipe smoking progression among youth in Irbid, Jordan: A Longitudinal Study (2008-2011).  Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 153, 265-270.
  10. Kedia, S.K., Ward, K.D., Digney, S.A., Jackson, B.M., Nellum, A.L., McHugh, L., Roark, K.S., Osborne, O.T., Crossley, F.J., Faris, N., & Osarogiagbon, R.U. (2015). 'One-stop shop': Lung cancer patients' and caregivers' perceptions of multidisciplinary care in a community healthcare setting.  Translational Lung Cancer Research, 4, 456-464.
  11. Kheirallah, K.A.,. Alsulaiman, J.W., Alzyoud, S., Al-Sakran, M.H., Veeranki, S.P., & Ward, K.D.  (2016), Waterpipe tobacco smoking among Arab youth: a cross-country study. Ethnicity & Disease, 26, 107-112.
  12. Kheirallah, K.A., Alzyoud, S., Veeranki, S.P., Khader, Y., & Ward, K.D.  Collision of youth waterpipe use and cigarette smoking epidemics in the Arab nations.  In press, Journal of Substance Use.
  13. Kheirallah, K.A., Alzyoud, S., & Ward, K.D. (2015). Waterpipe smoking as a predictor of cognitive susceptibility to cigarette smoking among never-smoking Jordanian youth: analysis of the 2009 GYTS. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 17, 280-284.
  14. Maziak, W., Jawad, M., Afifi, R., Nakkash, R., Akl, E., Ward, K.D., Salloum, R.G., Barnett, T.E., Primack B.A., Eissenberg, T., & Ben Taleb, Z. Consensus statement on waterpipe assessment in epidemiological studies.  In press, Tobacco Control.
  15. Maziak, W., Jawad, M., Jawad, S., Ward, K.D., Eissenberg, T., & Asfar, T. (2015). Interventions for waterpipe smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.  DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD005549.pub3.
  16. Raghuveer, G., White, D., Hayman, L., Woo, J., Villafane, J., Celermajer, D., Ward, K.D., DeFerranti, S., & Zachariah, J, on behalf of the Atherosclerosis, Hypertension & Obesity in Youth Committee of the Cardiovascular Disease in the Young Council of the American Heart Association. American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Cardiovascular Consequences of Childhood Second Hand Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Prevailing Evidence, Burden, Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities.  In press.
  17. Veeranki, S.P., Alzyoud, S., Dierking, L., Kheirallah, K., Mzayek, F., Pbert, L., & Ward, K.D. (2016). Associations of adolescents' cigarette, waterpipe and dual tobacco use with parental tobacco use. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 18, 879-884.
  18. Ward, K.D.  (2016). Tobacco intervention research in low and middle income countries: lessons learned and future directions (editorial).  Journal of Smoking Cessation, 11, 61-64.
  19. Ward, K.D.  (2015). The waterpipe: an emerging global epidemic in need of action (editorial).  Tobacco Control, 27 (suppl 1), i1-i2.
  20. Ward, K.D., Ahn, S., Mzayek, W., Al Ali, R., Rastam, S., Maziak, W., Asfar, T., & Fouad, F. (2015). The association between waterpipe smoking and body weight: population-based findings from Syria. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 17, 34-40.
  21. Ward, K.D., Siddiqi, K., Ahluwalia, J.S., Alexander, A.C., & Asfar, T. (2015). Waterpipe tobacco smoking: the critical need for cessation treatment. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 153, 14-21.
  22. Warren, G., & Ward, K.D. (2015). Integration of tobacco cessation services into multidisciplinary lung cancer care: rationale, state of the art, and future directions. Translational Lung Cancer Research, 4, 339-352.


Full list of publications: