Fellow, 1977-1980, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Preventive Cardiology
Ph.D., 1977, University of Texas at Austin, Counseling/Clinical Psychology
M.A., 1973, University of Texas at Austin, Counseling Psychology
B.A., 1970, University of Texas at Austin, Mathematics
Health Policy, Global Health, Community Health, Tobacco Prevention and Control
As Research Professor of Health Management & Policy, Dr. Terry Pechacek provides leadership in teaching, research and service to the School of Public Health.
In his 40-year career in health policy research, he was one of the leading scientists guiding a paradigm shift in tobacco control from the individually focused smoking prevention and cessation efforts of the 1970s into the policy-driven, population-based approaches that are now the standard. His research career has been dedicated to developing and translating the scientific evidence base into nationwide and global action needed to reduce tobacco use and the wholly preventable suffering engendered by it. As a senior investigator in Georgia State University’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science, he currently leads studies of risk perceptions of novel and alternative tobacco products, particularly e-cigarettes, and the role these risk perceptions have in decisions to use tobacco products.
Before coming to Georgia State, Dr. Pechacek served as deputy director for research translation at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention′s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) since 2012. Dr. Pechacek came to CDC as a visiting scientist and senior biomedical research scientist in 1995. In 1999, he was appointed the associate director for science for OSH. He is the senior author of the 1999 Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs and the 2007 Update, and has also been involved in the preparation of Surgeon General Reports on Smoking and Health since 1979. He was a lead scientist in the development and implementation of almost all national and international surveys of tobacco use since the 1980s, including the National Youth Tobacco Survey, Global Youth Tobacco Survey, National Adult Tobacco Survey, and Global Adult Tobacco Survey as well as a senior technical advisor in the revisions and updates to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Dr. Pechacek was the senior associate scientific editor and contributing author of “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress” released in January 2014.
Dr. Pechacek earned his Ph.D. in counseling/clinical psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1977. He completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship in preventive cardiology at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. After his fellowship, Dr. Pechacek remained at Minnesota as an assistant and then associate professor and developed population-based interventions for the Minnesota Heart Health Program. In 1986, Dr. Pechacek joined the National Cancer Institute in Washington, D.C., leading the Community Intervention Trial for Smoking Cessation (COMMIT) and the early development of the American Stop Smoking Intervention Trial (ASSIST). He also served as acting chief of the Smoking Tobacco and Cancer Branch. From 1991 to 1995, Dr. Pechacek was an associate professor at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo Medical School, Buffalo, N.Y.
Dr. Pechacek has been involved in tobacco prevention and control research and public health activities since the 1970s. He is the author of more than 250 scientific papers, major government reports, and book chapters and regularly provides expert testimony across the United States on the efficacy of public health strategies to prevent smoking and tobacco-related diseases. In 2006, Dr. Pechacek was awarded the Surgeon General′s Medallion in recognition of his work to support the Office of the Surgeon General in communicating the risk of tobacco use. In 2009, Dr. Pechacek received the Jeffery P. Koplan Award from National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for Outstanding Scientific Contribution.
Dr. Pechacek also conducts tobacco related research in China and goes by Wŭ Tiān Rùi.
- Pechacek TF, Nayak P, Gregory KR, Weaver SR, Eriksen MP. The Potential That Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Can be a Disruptive Technology: Results From a National Survey. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Oct;18(10):1989–97. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw102. PMCID: PMC5016845.
- Pechacek TF, Nayak P, Slovic P, Weaver SR, Huang J, et al. Reassessing the importance of 'lost pleasure' associated with smoking cessation: implications for social welfare and policy. Tob Control. 2017 Nov 28;PubMed PMID: 29183920.
- Nayak P, Pechacek TF, Weaver SR, Eriksen MP. Electronic nicotine delivery system dual use and intention to quit smoking: Will the socioeconomic gap in smoking get greater? Addict Behav. 2016 Oct; 61:112–6. Doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2016.05.020. PMCID: PMC4981176
- Weaver, SR, Huang, J, Pechacek, TF, Heath, JW, Ashley, DL, & Eriksen, MP. Are electronic nicotine delivery systems helping cigarette smokers quit? Evidence from a prospective cohort study of U.S. adult smokers, 2015-2016. PLOS ONE. 2018 13(7), e0198047. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198047. PMCID: 29985948
- Gibson LA, Creamer MR, Breland AB, Giachello AL, Kaufman A, Kong G, Pechacek TF… Halpern-Fisher B. Measuring perceptions related to e-cigarettes: Important principles and next steps to enhance study validity. Addict Behav. 2017 Nov; doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.11.017. PMID: 29175027
A complete list of Dr. Pechacek’s peer-reviewed publications are maintained at: