Director, Tobacco Control Research, Behavioral Research Center, American Cancer Society
Dr. Westmaas received his doctorate in health psychology from the University of California, Irvine, and completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (Toronto) and the Tobacco Research and Intervention Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida (Tampa).
His research focuses on factors that individually and interactively influence smokers’ motivation to quit and their success in quitting. These include social factors (e.g., social pressure, social support during quitting), psychological factors (e.g., depression, personality, gender), biological influences (e.g., the relationship between physiological stress responses and cravings or relapse, and the ability of social support to affect this relationship), and environmental factors (e.g., anti-smoking messages). He uses these results to develop strategies that increase the demand for, and the effectiveness of, smoking cessation interventions, particularly those that use the Internet and Email to provide tailored, personalized cessation treatment. He is also involved in adapting cessation interventions for populations that experience disparities in the prevalence and effects of tobacco use.