VCU Psychology Department

Does forgiving others affect your meaning in life?

Relationships are a vital source of meaning in life. But conflicts are inevitable in every relationship. Might forgiving an offense by your partner increase or restore how meaningful you feel your life is? read more...


How can we track the psychosocial functioning of patients?

Understanding a patient’s psychological profile over time can aid in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment planning. What method can we use to track the psychosocial functioning of patients? read more...


How important are routines for our well-being?

William Blake suggested that we "Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night." How critical is the timing and regularly of our daily activities for our well-being? read more...


Dr. Thomas Eissenberg

Professor (tenured)

Health Psychology

Co-director, Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre
Co-founder and laboratory director, Syrian Center for Tobacco Studies


PhD (1994), McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Fellow, American Psychological Association

Contact Information

Phone: 804-827-4617

Office: 1112 East Clay Street, Suite B-08


Web site: Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

Research Interests

My primary area of research is the behavioral pharmacology of drugs of abuse, focusing primarily on nicotine/tobacco.  I am co-director of the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products whose mission is to develop and apply regulatory science to the evaluation of tobacco products and to train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists. To carry out this mission, the Center has established the following seven goals:

  1. To facilitate collaborative research and training efforts among faculty from different disciplines (including collaborations across academic departments and schools) that advances the field of tobacco regulatory science.
  2. To develop and maintain core facilities and services that support research on tobacco regulatory science.
  3. To facilitate the application of new knowledge to the development of effective tobacco product regulations through the conduct of translational research and the evaluation of tobacco product regulations.
  4. To develop opportunities for international research and training that supports the Center's mission.
  5. To develop and maintain an outstanding faculty of researchers and educators by assisting in the retention of current faculty and the recruitment of new faculty.
  6. To create new opportunities for individual faculty development, including mentoring for junior faculty.
  7. To train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists, including post-doctoral fellows and graduate students.
Selected Publications

Talih, S., Balhas, Z., Eissenberg, T., Salman, R., Karaoghlanian, N., El Hellani, A., Baalbaki, R.,  Saliba, N., Shihadeh, A. (in press). Effects of User Puff Topography, Device Voltage, and Liquid Nicotine Concentration on Electronic Cigarette Nicotine Yield: Measurements and Model Predictions. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Shihadeh, A., Eissenberg, T. (in press). Electronic Cigarette Effectiveness and Abuse Liability: Predicting and Regulating "Nicotine Flux". Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Hajek, P., Etter, J. F., Benowitz, N., Eissenberg, T., & McRobbie, H. (in press). Electronic cigarettes: Review of use, content, safety, effects on smokers, and potential for harm and benefit. Addiction.

Shihadeh, A., Eissenberg, T., Rammah, M., Salman, R., Jaroudi, E., El-Sabban, M. (2014). Comparison of tobacco-containing and tobacco-free waterpipe products: effects on human alveolar cells. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 16, 496-9.

Breland, A. B., Spindle, T. R., Weaver, M., & Eissenberg, T. (2014). Science and electronic cigarettes: Current data, future needs. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 8, 223-33.

Recent Courses
Recent Grants

FDA/NIH/NIDA (P50 DA036105-02), “Center for the Study of Tobacco Products.”  Dates: 2013-2018.  Direct costs: $13,000,000. Co-Principal Investigator. 

NIH/NIDA (R01 DA025659-04R), “REALTIME waterpipe tobacco smoke toxicant sampling in the natural environment.”  Dates: 2011-2015.  Direct costs: $1,330,000.  Co-Principal Investigator.

FDA (PO# US001-0000426790), “Assessment of Tobacco Products Pharmacology and Behaviors.”  Dates: 2014-2016.  Direct costs: $12,000.  Principal Investigator.

FDA/NIH/NCI (R21 CA184634-01), “Behavior and Toxicant Exposure Among Dual Users of Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes.”  Dates: 2014-2016.  Direct costs: $275,000.  Co-Investigator.

NIH/NCI (R21 CA161317-01A1), “Cigarillo smoking: smoke toxicant content and user toxicant exposure and effects.” Dates: 2012-2014.  Direct costs: $238,000.  Co-Principal Investigator.

NIH/NCI (R01 CA140150-04), “Waterpipe tobacco smoking among U.S. adolescents and young adults.”  Dates: 2010-2014.  Direct costs: ~$80,000.  Co-Investigator.