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Wolfson Institute of Population Health

Professor Peter Hajek, MA PhD CClinPsych


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

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7882 8232


I lead a research team that focuses on health behaviours and their modification, particularly on understanding and treating tobacco dependence, and on helping people with obesity to manage their weight. Our Unit is one of the leading smoking cessation research centres globally. Its work has informed the establishment of the UK’s Specialist Stop Smoking Services and influenced clinical practice guidelines internationally. Our current studies concern primarily safety and efficacy of alternative nicotine delivery products and their potential to replace smoking globally; and weight management interventions that can be disseminated economically on the population scale. I am a member of a number of editorial boards, expert groups and international collaborations. Our tobacco dependence services and obesity clinics serve the local community and provide opportunities for student placements. I am involved in teaching throughout the medical curriculum on topics related to addiction, medical psychology and health behaviours.


Research Interests:

  • Tobacco dependence
  • Weight management
  • Health behaviours


Current research projects and their funding:

The trajectory of nicotine use in smokers who also vape.

          (CRUK (2017-2022) Hajek and Bauld, £104,000)

Registry of participants in e-cigarette trials.

          (CRUK (2019-2022) Sassieni, Hajek, Sleeth, £98,000)

Health outcomes and relapse rates associated with long-term use of e-cigarettes.

          (CRUK (2019-2022) Hajek and Przulj, £79,000)

Cochrane living systematic review of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation.

          (CRUK (2020-2022) Hartmann-Boyce, Hajek et al., £111,000)

Effects of reduced-risk nicotine delivery products on smoking prevalence.

          (NIHR (2020-2022), Hajek, Phillips-Waller £150,000)

Running and evaluation of specialist stop smoking service.

          (Newham Public Health (2021-2023) Hajek and Begum £248,000)

Running and evaluation of Tier 2 weight management service.

          (Tower Hamlets Public Health (2022-2023) Hajek and Begum, £32,000)

Effects of e-cigarettes vs usual care on smoking cessation when offered at homeless centres: A cluster-randomised trial.

          (NIHR (2021-2024) Dawkins, Hajek et al. £1.6 million)

Electronic cigarettes compared to varenicline and the effect of vaping on patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

          (NIHR (2022-2026) Farley, Hajek and Sapey, £2.2 million)

Effect of a vaporised nicotine product vs varenicline on smoking cessation for low-socioeconomic status smokers: a randomised trial.

(NHMRC Australia (2022-2026) Courtney, McRobbie, Bullen, Hajek et al. AU$ 2.1 million)

Do e-cigarettes help smokers quit when not accompanied by intensive behavioural support?

          (NIHR (2022-2026) Myers and Hajek. £1,083,000)


Please click through to see a complete list of Peter's publications.

Featured publications

Hajek P, McRobbie H, Myers K (2013) The efficacy of cytisine in helping smokers quit: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Thorax 68; 1037–1042

Hajek P, McRobbie H, Myers Smith K, Phillips A, Cornwall D, Dhanji A. (2015) Increasing varenicline dose in smokers who do not react to the standard dosage: Placebo controlled randomised trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. 175(2):266-271. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6916

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

Hartmann-Boyce  J, McRobbie  H, Lindson  N, Bullen  C, Begh  R, Theodoulou  A, Notley  C, Rigotti  NA, Turner  T, Butler  AR, Fanshawe  TR, Hajek  P. (2021) Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4. Art. No.: CD010216. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD010216.pub5. Accessed 29 April 2021.

Hajek, P., Przulj, D., Pesola, F. et al. Electronic cigarettes versus nicotine patches for smoking cessation in pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. Nature Medicine 28, 958–964 (2022).

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