Kenneth D. Ward, PhD

Professor and Director, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences

201 Robison Hall
Office Hours
By appointment only
Ken Ward

About Kenneth D. Ward

Kenneth D. Ward, PhD is Professor and Director of the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He also serves as Adjunct Professor of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. 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 holds a National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice. Other interests include behavioral and community approaches to improve chronic conditions such as such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and obesity.

Dr. Ward is a Research Laureate and Fellow of the American Academy of Health Behavior and a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. He was recently a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and at the University of Memphis 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) effects of stress and tobacco use on birth outcomes; and (3) use of tobacco and other substances in the aftermath of a disaster.


  • 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 promotion

Courses Taught

  • PUBH 7160: Social and Behavioral Science Principles (syllabus)
  • PUBH 7450/8450: Randomized Clinical Trials I (syllabus)
  • PUBH 8720: Grant Writing in Health Science (syllabus)
  • PUBH 8901: Doctoral Professional Development Seminar (syllabus)

Recent Publications

(student authors are underlined)

  • Alam, M.A., Ward, K.D., Bahelah, R., Kalan, M.E., Asfar, T., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak, W. The Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies-13 (SCTS-13): psychometric evaluation of a waterpipe-specific nicotine dependence instrument. In press, Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
  • Alexander, A.C., & Ward, K.D., Forde, D.R., & Stockton, M. (2019). Are posttraumatic stress and depressive symptoms pathways to smoking relapse after a natural disaster? Findings from Hurricane Katrina. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 195, 178-185. PMID: 30455073
  • Alexander, A.C., Ward, K.D., Forde, D.R., Stockton, M., & Read, M.C. (2019). Do current smokers use more cigarettes and become more dependent on nicotine because of psychological distress after a natural disaster? Addictive Behaviors, 93, 129-134. PMID: 30710806
  • Allen, A.M., Jung, A.M., Alexander, A.C., Allen, S.S., Ward, K.D., & al'Absi, M. Cannabis use and stressful life events during the perinatal period: cross-sectional results from the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) data, 2016. Addiction, 115, 1707-1716. PMID: 32032979
  • Allen, A.M., Jung, A.M., Lemieux, A., Alexander, A.C., Allen, S.S., Ward, K.D., & Al'Absi, M. Stressful life events are associated with perinatal cigarette smoking. (2019). Preventive Medicine, 118, 264-271. PMID: 30468790 PMCID: PMC6322958
  • Asfar, T., Arheart, K.L., McClure, L.A., Ruano-Herreria, E.C., Dietz, N.A., Ward, K.D., Caban-Martinez, A.J., & Lee, D.L. The feasibility and efficacy of a novel workplace smoking cessation intervention targeting Hispanic/Latino construction workers: a pilot cluster randomized trial. In press, Health Education & Behavior.
  • Asfar, T., Ben Taleb, Z., Osibogunm O., Ward, K.D., Salloum, R.G., & Maziak, W. (2019). How do waterpipe smoking establishments attract smokers? Implications for policy. Substance Use and Misuse, 54, 560-571. PMID: 30430905 PMCID: PMC6443473
  • Asfar, T., McClure, L.A., Arheart, K.L., Ruano-Herreeria, E.C., Gilford Jr., C.G. Xuan, Y., Moore, K., Caban-Martinez, A.J., Dietz, N.A., Ward, K.D., & Lee, D.J. (2019). Integrating worksite smoking cessation services into the construction sector: opportunities and challenges. Health Education & Behavior, 46, 1024-1034. PMID: 31426671
  • Asfar, T. Schmidt, M., Kalan, M.E., Wu, W., Ward, K.D., Nakkash, R., Thrasher, J., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak. W. (2020). Delphi study among international expert panel to develop waterpipe-specific health warning labels. Tobacco Control, 29, 159-167. PMID: 30696784
  • Bahelah, R., Ben Taleb, Z. Jaber, R., DiFranza, J.R., Ward, K.D., Osibogun, O., Eissenberg, T, & Maziak. W. (2019). Determinants of progression of nicotine dependence symptoms in adolescent waterpipe smokers. Tobacco Control, 28, 254-260. PMID: 29895703 PMCID: PMC6291353
  • Bhatnagar, A., Maziak, W., Eissenberg, T., Ward, K.D., Thurston, G., King, B.A., Sutfin, E.L., Cobb, C., Griffiths, M., Goldstein, L.B., & Rezk-Hanna, on behalf of the Lifestyle and Epidemiology/Behavior Change Committee, American Heart Association. Waterpipe and cardiovascular disease risk: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. (2019). Circulation, 139, e917-e936. PMID: 30845826
  • Collins, A.C., Ward, K.D., McClanahan, B.M., Slawson, D.L., Vukadinovich, C.M., Mays, K.E. Wilson, N., & Relyea, G. (2019). Bone accrual in child and adolescent non-elite swimmers: a two-year longitudinal study. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 29, 43-48. PMID: 28708710 PMCID: PMC5764834
  • Kabir, U.Y., Ward, K.D., Uju, K.J., & Dobalian, A. What is shaping the coronavirus pandemic in Africa? In press, International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences.
  • Kalan, M.E., Behaleh, R., DiFranza, J.R., Bursac, Z., Ben Taleb, Z., Tleis, M., Asfar, T., Nakkash, R., Ward, K.D., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak. W. Natural course of nicotine dependence among adolescent waterpipe and cigarette smokers: The Longitudinal Study of Waterpipe Dependence in Lebanese Youth. In press, Journal of Adolescent Health.
  • Kalan, M.E., Ghobadi, H., Ben Taleb, Z., Ward, K.D., Adham, D., Matin, S., Fazlzadeh, M., & Narimani, S. (2020). Descriptive characteristics of hospitalized adult smokers and non-smokers with COVID-19. Tobacco Induced Diseases, 18:46. PMID: 32489343 https://doi.org/10.18332/tid/122759 
  • Kedia, S., Ward, K.D., Collins, A.C., Jackson, B.M., Stewart, F.R., Faris, N., Roark, K.S., & Osarogiagbon, R.U. (2020). "All boats will rise": physicians' perspectives on multidisciplinary lung cancer care in a community-based hospital setting. Supportive Care in Cancer, 28, 1765-1773. PMID: 31309296
  • Kedia, S.K., Ward, K.D., Collins, A.C., Kyle, T., Jackson, B.M., & Osarogiagbon, R.U. (2020). Psychosocial interventions for informal caregivers of lung cancer patients: a systematic review. Psycho-Oncology, 29, 251-262. PMID: 31701588
  • Pfund, R.A., Whelan, J.P., Meyers, A.W., Peter, S.C., Ward, K.D., & Horn, T.L. (2020). The use of a smartphone application to complete therapeutic homework: a pilot acceptability and feasibility study. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 5, 156-163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41347-019-00123-9
  • Ward, K.D., Kumar, J., Khan, Z., & Jiang, Y. (2019). Characteristics of waterpipe health warning labels in the United States. American Journal of Health Behavior, 43, 858-865. PMID: 31239026
  • Ward, K.D. & Chen, W. (2019). Cessation of waterpipe smoking. In: Handbook of Healthcare in the Arab World, Ishmail Laher, editor. Springer Nature. Online ISBN: 978-3-319-74365-3
  • Yang, Y., Lindblom, E.N., Salloum, R.G., & Ward, K.D. (2020). The impact of a flavor ban in San Francisco among young adults. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 11, 100273. PMID: 32368612.
  • Yang, Y., Ward, K.D., Salloum, R., & Lindblom, L. (2020). Agent-based modeling in tobacco regulatory science: exploring "what if" in waterpipe smoking. Tobacco Regulatory Science, 6, 171-178. PMID: 32582820


Full list of publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/18eyvrnaKw5km/bibliography/public/