Professor Ward came to UNM from The University of Memphis School of Public Health where he founded and directed the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Trained as a clinical health psychologist, his research and clinical work focuses on community-, healthcare system-, and population-level approaches to reduce the burden of tobacco use. Dr. Ward was co-founder and Intervention Director of the NIH-funded Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies where he directed clinical trials of cigarette and waterpipe (“hookah”) cessation. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and continues collaborating there to improve the delivery of smoking cessation services to underrepresented populations. Other interests include behavioral and community approaches to improve chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.

Areas of Specialty

  • Tobacco control and smoking cessation
  • Chronic disease prevention
  • Global health promotion


  • AB, Psychology, Brown University
  • MS, Clinical Health Psychology, University of Memphis
  • PhD, Clinical Health Psychology, University of Memphis
  • Clinical Psychology Residency (behavioral medicine track), University of Mississippi Medical Center


  • Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist
  • National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice

Achievements & Awards

  • Research Laureate, American Academy of Health Behavior
  • Fellow, American Academy of Health Behavior
  • Fellow, Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • Fellow, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco
  • Fulbright Scholar, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • Faudree Professorship, University of Memphis
  • Willard R. Sparks Eminent Faculty Award, University of Memphis

Key Publications

  • Alam, M.M., Ward, K.D., Bahelah, R., Kalan, M.E., Asfar, T., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak, W. (2020). The Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies-13 (SCTS-13): psychometric evaluation of a waterpipe-specific nicotine dependence instrument. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 215, 108192. PMID: 32738447
  • 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
  • Asfar, T., Livingstone-Banks, J., Ward, K. D., Eissenberg, T., Oluwole, O., Bursac, Z., Ghaddar, T., & Maziak, W. (2023). Interventions for waterpipe smoking cessation. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews, 6(6), CD005549.
  • 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
  • Ebrahami Kalan, M., Ward, K.D., Harrell, P.T., & Ben Taleb, Z. (2023). Causal inference in nicotine and tobacco research. Journal of Addictive Disease. Aug 31;1-4. doi: 10.1080/10550887.2023.2252305. PMID: 37650396.
  • Ebrahimi Kalan, M., Jebai, R., Bursac, Z., Guam, P., Li, W., Anderson, T., Popova, L., Ward, K.D., Behaleh, R., & Ben Taleb, Z. Trends and factors related to blunt use among middle and high school students, 2010-2020. (2021). Pediatrics, 148(1):e2020028159. PMID: 34127552
  • Klesges, R.C., Ward, K.D., Shelton, M.L., Cantler, E., Applegate, W.B., Palmieri, G.M.A., Harmon, K., & Davis, J. (1996). Changes in bone mineral content and lean body mass over time in male athletes: mechanisms of action and intervention effects. Journal of the American Medical Association, 276, 226-230. PMID: 8667568
  • Maziak, W., Ward, K.D., Afifi Soweid, R.A., & Eissenberg, T. (2004). Tobacco smoking using a waterpipe: a re-emerging strain in a global epidemic. Tobacco Control, 13, 327-333. PMID: 15564614 PMCID: PMC1747964
  • Mellon, L., Doyle, F., Hickey, A., Ward, K.D., De Freitas, D.G. McCormick, A., O’Connell, O. & Conlon, P. (2022). Interventions for increasing immunosuppressant medication adherence in solid organ transplant recipients (Review). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews TBD, Issue 9. Art. No.: CD012854. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012854.pub2. PMID: 36094829
  • 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 (2016). American Heart Association Scientific Statement: Cardiovascular Consequences of Childhood Second Hand Tobacco Smoke Exposure: Prevailing Evidence, Burden, Racial and Socioeconomic Disparities. Circulation, 134, e336-e359. PMID: 27619923 PMCID: PMC5207215
  • Stockton, M.B., Ward, K.D., McClanahan, B.S., Vander Weg, M.W., Coday, M., Wilson, N., Relyea, G., Read, M.C., Connelly, S., & Johnson, K.C. (2023). The efficacy of individualized, community-based physical activity to aid smoking cessation: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Smoking Cessation. Article ID 5535832 |
  • Ward, K.D. Reflections on 15 years in the global tobacco trenches. (2017). Health Behavior Research, 1, PMID: 29338064 PMCID: PMC5761747
  • Ward, K.D., Asfar, T., Al-Ali, R., Vander Weg, M.W., Eissenberg, T., & Maziak, W. (2013). Randomized trial of the effectiveness of combined behavioral/pharmacological smoking cessation treatment in Syrian primary care clinics. Addiction, 108, 394-403. PMID: 22882805
  • Ward, K.D., Eissenberg, T., Rastam, S., Asfar, T., Mzayek, F., Fouad, M.F., Hammal, F., Mock, J., & Maziak, W. (2006). The tobacco epidemic in Syria. Tobacco Control, 15(Suppl 1), i24-29. PMID: 16723671 PMCID: PMC2563543
  • Ward, K.D., Kedia, S., Webb, L., & Relyea, G. (2012). Nicotine dependence among clients receiving publicly funded substance abuse treatment. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 125, 95-102. PMID: 22542293
  • Ward, K.D., & Klesges, R.C. (2001). A meta-analysis of the effects of cigarette smoking on bone mineral density. Calcified Tissue International, 68, 259-270. PMID: 11683532 PMCID: PMC5352985
  • 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., 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. PMID: 26054945
  • Yang, Y., Lindblom, E.N., Salloum, R.G., & Ward, K.D. (2023). Reactions to hypothetical flavor bans among users of current flavored e-cigarettes. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 13, 533-538.
  • Full list of publications: