Phoenix, Arizona




Scott J. Leischow, Ph.D., is a behavioral scientist with expertise and interests in tobacco treatment and the role of social networks in the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices. His interests include optimal approaches for training health care providers on treating tobacco dependence, as well understanding how complex systems can be understood and optimized to foster improvements in health — particularly in underserved populations in the U.S. and globally.

Focus areas

  • Investigating both pharmacological and behavioral treatments for tobacco dependence, including the exploration of dosing, adherence and the interplay of clinical and public health approaches
  • Researching organizational networks to better understand how knowledge is spread and implementing practices that can lead to improvements in public health

Significance to patient care

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., yet over 40 million people continue to use tobacco. Research shows that treatment for tobacco dependence can help tobacco users quit, but the best treatments are only modestly effective. Thus, it is essential that new methods — both behavioral and pharmacological — be discovered to improve treatment options.

In addition, because many health care providers do not help their patients to quit with the best treatments available, there is a continued need to understand how to improve the delivery of evidence-based practices. Understanding how to share information and change policy is an important new approach to fostering and speeding the movement of discovery to real-world practice.

Professional highlights

  • Member and advisory board, Arizona Tobacco Revenue, Use, Spending and Tracking (TRUST) Commission, 2012-present
  • Member, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Tobacco and Cancer Subcommittee, 2011-present
  • Recipient of multiple awards, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Award (2004), NIH Individual Merit Award (2003) and NCI Director's Gold Star Award (2004)
  • Member, Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 1994-present
  • Member, Society for Behavioral Medicine, 1984-present


See my publications



  1. Postdoctoral Fellowship - Behavioral Pharmacology The Johns Hopkins University
  2. PhD - Health Education University of Maryland, College Park
  3. MA - Health Education University of Maryland, College Park
  4. BS - Psychology University of Wisconsin, Parkside

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