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(859) 323–6606

(859) 323–1057




Post-doctoral Fellow, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), 2010
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia, 2008
MPH, University of Kentucky, 2005
PhD, University of Kentucky, 2005
MSN, University of Kentucky, 2002
BSN, University of Kentucky, 1999


Developing and evaluating tobacco treatment programs for marginalized populations, particularly individuals living with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders


Chizimuzo  Okoli, PhD, MPH, RN

Assistant Professor

Chizimuzo (Zim) Okoli received his undergraduate degrees in nursing and philosophy from the University of Kentucky. He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing, and in 2005, his Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, all from UK. In 2008 he completed a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral traineeship in tobacco research at the University of British Columbia. In 2010 he further completed a CIHR postdoctoral fellowship in gender, mental health and addictions through the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Okoli is an assistant professor in the UK College of Nursing and he directs the Tobacco Treatment and Prevention Division of the Tobacco Policy Research Program. He has been involved in several studies addressing secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure policy in indoor and outdoor public spaces as well as using biomarkers of tobacco exposure. More recently, he has conducted several studies evaluating tobacco dependence treatment among marginalized populations, often individuals with substance use disorders and/or psychiatric disorders. His particular interests include examining how sex and gender affect tobacco dependence treatment outcomes.

Dr. Okoli received a young investigators award to present at the Eighth Asian Pacific Association for the Control of Tobacco Triennial Conference in Taipie, Taiwan in 2007.

He is co-principal investigator on a CIHR Operating Grant to examine the health and health equity effects of an outdoor smoke-free policy in parks and beaches.


Okoli, C. T., Khara, M.  (2014). Correlates of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure among individuals with a history of substance use and/or psychiatric disorders participating in a tobacco treatment program in Vancouver, Canada. Community Mental Health Journal, 50, 729-736.

Okoli, C. T., Khara, M.  (2014). Predictors of smoking cessation among individuals with a history of co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. Journal of Dual Diagnosis, 10 (1), 9-18.

Schwartz, J. , Graham, R. B., Richardson, C. G., Okoli, C. T., Struik, L. , Bottorff, J. L. (2014). An examination of exposure and avoidance behavior related to second-hand cigarette smoke among adolescent girls in Canada. BMC Public Health, 14, 468.

Khara, M. , Okoli, C. T.. (in press) A retrospective review of pilot outcomes from an out-patient tobacco treatment programme within Cardiology Services. Journal of Smoking Cessation.

Guo, S. E., Ratner, P. , Okoli, C. T., Johnson, J.  (2014). The gender-specific association between asthma and the need to smoke tobacco. Heart and Lung, 43 (1), 11-83.

Richardson, C. G., Struik, L. L., Johnson, K. C., Ratner, P. A., Gotay, C. , Memetovic, J. , Okoli, C. T., Bottorff, J. L. (2013). Initial impact of tailored web-based messages about cigarette smoke and breast cancer risk on boys’ and girls’ risk perceptions and information seeking: Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 2 (2), e53.

Moshrefzadeh, A., Rice, W., Pederson, A., Okoli, C.T. (2013). A content analysis of media coverage of the introduction of a smoke-free bylaw in Vancouver parks and beaches. International Journal of Environmental Research Public Health, 10 (9), 4444–4453.

Masuhara, J. , Heah, T. , Okoli, C. T. (2013). Outcomes of a tobacco treatment programme for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness attending a community mental health team. Journal of Smoking Cessation, First view article, 1-8.

Okoli, C.T., Pederson, A., Rice, W. (2013). Support for a smoke-free bylaw in parks and on beaches. Health Policy, 111 (2), 127-134.



Heath, J.E., Hahn, E.J., Ashford, K.B., Butler, K.M., Fallin, A., Okoli, C.T. (2015, February).  Scaling up Successes for Research Funding Through Philanthropy . 29th Southern Nursing Research Society, SNRS, Tampa, FL.

Okoli, C.T. (2014, September).  Developing a tailored tobacco treatment program for individuals with schizophrenia. 28th Annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association Conference, Indianapolis, IN.

Okoli, C.T. (2014, September).  Tobacco Treatment for Individuals with Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders. Webinar for Tobacco Control Coordinators, , KY.

Okoli, C.T., Pederson, A., Boomer, J., Khara, M., O’Leary, R. (2014, August).  Vancouver’s Ban on Smoking in Parks and on Beaches: Is it Working? Is it Fair?”. CIHR Café Scientifique, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Vancouver, Canada.

Okoli, C.T. (2014, April).  Tobacco treatment for individuals with substance abuse and psychiatric disorders. UK College of Nursing Lecture series, College of Nursing, Lexington, KY.

Okoli, C.T. (2014, March).  Evidence-based smoking cessation treatment for disparate populations. Chang Gung University of Science and Technology, Chiayi, Taiwan, .

Khara, M., Okoli, C.T. (2013, November).  Outcomes of a smoking cessation clinic in Cardiology Services. 8th National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Ottawa, Canada.

Okoli, C.T., Khara, M. (2013, August).  Outcomes of a smoking cessation clinic in Cardiology Services, Vancouver, Canada. 10th Asian Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health, Chiba, Japan.

Okoli, C.T., Khara, M. (2013, August).  Smoking cessation outcomes among individuals with a history of psychotic disorders as compared to those without. 10th Asian Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health, Chiba, Japan.