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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Peter Hajek


Professor of Clinical Psychology, Director of the Health and Lifestyle Research Unit

Telephone: Tel: +44 (0) 20 7882 8232


Peter Hajek is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Health and Lifestyle Research Unit at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine.

His research is concerned primarily with understanding health behaviours, and developing and evaluating both behavioural and pharmacological treatments for dependent smokers and for people with weight problems. He has contributed to the establishment of the UK specialist stop-smoking service, training of its staff, and relevant NICE guidelines.

He is a recipient of research grants of over £10,000,000, holds a number of academic and editorial appointments, and authored or co-authored over 300 publications.


Research Interests:

Current Projects

  • Group weight management programme versus best practice primary care intervention
  • Randomised trial of 5:2 diet
  • Tailoring prescriptions of stop smoking medications to patient reactions
  • Randomised trial of nicotine patch preloading for smoking cessation
  • E-cigarettes: Speed of nicotine delivery
  • International Smoking Cessation Education Collaboration
  • Complementing current pharmacological treatments for smokers with sensory replacement
  • Adding E-cigarettes to standard NHS stop-smoking treatment
  • Comparison of efficacy of E-cigarettes versus standard NHS stop-smoking treatment
  • Dual users who smoke and vape: Cohort follow-up study
  • Endurance of self-imposed discomfort and distress tolerance as factors in behaviour change
  • Effects of varenicline on alcohol consumption and enjoyment


Recent Publications

Birge M, Duffy S, Miler J, Hajek P (2018) What proportion of people who try one cigarette become daily smokers? A meta-analysis of representative surveys. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntx243. [Epub ahead of print]

Hajek P, Przulj D, Phillips A, Anderson R, McRobbie H.  (2018) Initial ratings of different types of e-cigarettes and relationships between product appeal and nicotine delivery. Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4826-z

Glasinovic E, Wynter E, Arguero J, Ooi J, Nakagawa K, Yazaki E, Hajek P, Woodland P, Sifrim D (2018) Treatment of supragastric belching with cognitive behavioral therapy improves quality of life and reduces acid gastroesophageal reflux. Am J Gastroenterol, 20 February 2018; doi: 10.1038/ajg.2018.15

The Preloading Investigators (Aveyard, Hajek, Coleman, Munafo et al) (2018) Nicotine patch treatment prior to quitting smoking and effects on abstinence: a parallel, two-arm, pragmatic randomised trial. BMJ; 2018;361:k2164

Miler J, Hajek P. (2018) Chronic staphylococcus aureus infection resolution in a non-smoker who started to use glycerine based e-cigarettes: Antibacterial effects of vaping? Medical Hypotheses,

Hajek P, Aveyard P, Coleman T, Munafo M et al. (2018) Mediators of the effect of nicotine pre-treatment on quitting smoking. Addiction, doi: 10.1111/add.14401.

Przulj D, Wehbe L, McRobbie H, Hajek P (2018) Progressive nicotine patch dosing prior to quitting smoking: Feasibility, safety, and effects during the pre-quit and post-quit periods. Addiction, doi:10.1111/add.14483

Thompson-Lake D, O’Byrne E, De La Garza R, Hajek P. (2018) Predictive value of distress tolerance measures in successful weight loss. Endocrine Abstracts (2018) 53 P02 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.53.P02

The Preloading Investigators (2018) The Preloading trial: An open label pragmatic randomised controlled trial of nicotine preloading for smoking cessation. Health Technol Assess 2018;22(41)

Przulj D, Hajek P, Snuggs S, McRobbie H. Changes in Alcohol Consumption During a Stop-Smoking Attempt and Differences Between Smokers Using Nicotine Replacement and Smokers Using Varenicline. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 20, Issue 5, May 2018, Pages 583–588,

P Hajek, A Phillips-Waller, D Przulj, F Pesola, K M Smith, N Bisal, J Li, S Parrott, P Sasieni, L Dawkins, L. Ross, ML. Goniewicz, Qi Wu, H J McRobbie. (2019) A randomised trial of e-cigarettes versus nicotine replacement therapy. N Engl J Med 2019; 380:629-637 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1808779

Livingstone-Banks J, Norris E, Hartmann-Boyce J, West R, Jarvis M, Hajek P. (2019) Relapse prevention interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2019 Feb 13;2:CD003999. Doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003999.pub5.

McRobbie H, Hajek P, Peerbux S, Kahan BC, Eldridge S, Trépel D, Parrott S, Griffiths C, Snuggs S, Myers Smith K. (2019) Randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of a task-based weight management group programme. BMC Public Health, 19:365

Hajek P, Peerbux S, Phillips-Waller A, Smith C, Pittaccio K, Przulj D. (2019) Are ‘dual users’ who smoke and use e-cigarettes interested in using varenicline to stop smoking altogether, and can they benefit from it? A cohort study of UK vapers. BMJ Open. 9:e026642. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-02664 

Lin H, Xiao D, Liu Z, Shi Q, Hajek P, Wang C (2019). National survey of smoking cessation provision in China. Tob. Induc. Dis. 2019;17(April):25; DOI:

Hajek P., Przulj D, Smith K (2019). Smoking and Cognitive Performance: The Chicken and Egg Problem. Amer J Psychiatry, published Online:1 Jul 2019

Sawada A, Anastasi N, Green A, Glasinovic E, Winter E, Albusoda A, Hajek P, Sifrim D. (2019) Management of supragastric belching with cognitive behavioural therapy: factors determining success and follow‐up outcomes at 6‐12 months post‐therapy. AT&P Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  50(5):530-537. doi: 10.1111/apt.15417. 

P Hajek, A Phillips-Waller, D Przulj, F Pesola, K M Smith, N Bisal, J Li, S Parrott, P Sasieni, L Dawkins, L. Ross, ML. Goniewicz, Qi Wu, H J McRobbie. (2019) A randomised controlled trial to examine the efficacy of e-cigarettes compared with nicotine replacement therapy, when used within the UK stop smoking service (TEC Study). Health Technol Assess. 2019 Aug;23(43):1-82. doi: 10.3310/hta23430. PMID: 31434605

Przulj D, Hajek P, Phillips-Waller A (2019). E-cigarettes for smoking cessation: Authors’ reply. N Engl J Med 380;20, 1974-75

J. Li, P. Hajek, F. Pesola, Q. Wu, A. Phillips-Waller, D. Przulj, K. Myers Smith, N. Bisal, P. Sasieni, L. Dawkins, L. Ross, M. Goniewicz, H. McRobbie, S. Parrott (2019) Cost-effectiveness of e-cigarettes compared with nicotine replacement therapy in the UK stop smoking service (TEC study): a randomised controlled trial. Addiction. 2019 Oct 9. doi: 10.1111/add.14829.

Hajek, P. Group therapy (2019). In Llewellyn D. et al. (Eds.) The Cambridge handbook of psychology, health and medicine. 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press.

Tonstad S, Arons C, Rollema H, Berlin I, Hajek P, Fagerström K, Els C, McRae T, Russ C. (2020) Varenicline: Mode of action, efficacy, safety, and accumulated experience salient for clinical populations. Current Medical Research  Opinion, 36:5, 713-730, DOI: 10.1080/03007995.2020.1729708

Hajek P, Pittaccio K, Pesola F, Myers Smith K, Phillips-Waller A, Przulj D. (2020) Nicotine delivery and user reactions to JUUL compared to cigarettes and to other e-cigarette products. Addiction.  doi:10.1111/add.14936

Shahab L, Britton J, Brown J, Hajek P, McNeill A (2020) The need for an evidence-based and rational debate on e-cigarettes. The Lancet, February 29, 2020 DOI:

Hajek P. (2020) E-cigarettes: Available evidence suggests that so far, hypothetical harms did not materialise, while benefits are real and substantial. Journal of Physiology, 1-3;

Hartmann-Boyce J, McRobbie H, Lindson N, Bullen C, Begh R, Theodoulou A, Notley C, Rigotti N, Turner T, Butler A, Hajek P. (2020) Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 10. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub4.

Dawkins L, Hajek P. et al. (2020) A cluster feasibility trial to explore the uptake and use of e-cigarettes versus usual care offered to smokers attending homeless centres in Great Britain. Plos One.

Sharon Cox, Allison Ford, Jinshuo Li, Catherine Best, Allan Tyler, Deborah Robson, Linda Bauld, Peter Hajek, Isabelle Uny, Steve Parrott, and Lynne Dawkins (2020) Exploring the uptake and use of electronic cigarettes provided to smokers accessing homeless centres: a four-centre cluster feasibility trial. Report to NIHR

McRobbie H, Phillips-Waller A, El Zerbi C, McNeill A, Hajek P, Pesola F, Balmford  J, Ferguson S, Li L, Lewis S, Courtney R, Gartner C, Bauld L, Borland R (2020) Nicotine replacement treatment, e-cigarettes and an online behavioural intervention to reduce relapse in recent ex-smokers: a multinational four-arm RCT. Health Technology Assessment, volume 24, number 68.

Phillips-Waller A, Przulj D, Myers Smith K, Pesola F, Hajek P. (2020) Nicotine delivery and user reactions to Juul EU (20mg/ml) compared with Juul US (59mg/ml), cigarettes, and other e-cigarette products. Psychopharmacology