Zim Okoli PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, CTTS
Associate Professor

Chizimuzo (Zim) Okoli received his undergraduate degrees in nursing and philosophy from the University of Kentucky. He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing, and in 2005, his Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, all from UK. In 2008 he completed a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral traineeship in tobacco research at the University of British Columbia. In 2010 he further completed a CIHR postdoctoral fellowship in gender, mental health and addictions through the University of British Columbia. Dr. Okoli is an associate professor in the UK College of Nursing and he directs the Tobacco Treatment Services and Evidence-Based Practice at Eastern State Hospital, a state-psychiatric facility in Lexington, KY. He also directs the Tobacco Treatment and Prevention Division of the BREATHE program. Building upon his earlier work on the effects of tobacco smoke exposure on smoking behaviors, he currently focuses on the effects of tobacco exposure on mental health outcomes and psychiatric disorders. He is also actively involved in developing and evaluating tobacco treatment approaches for individuals living with behavioral health challenges; and the training of health care professionals on delivering tobacco treatment within behavioral health settings.

Contact Information

Phone: (859) 323-6606

Fax: (859) 323-1057

Email: ctokol1@uky.edu



Post-doctoral Fellow, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), 2010
Post-doctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia, 2008
MPH, University of Kentucky, 2005
PhD, University of Kentucky, 2005
MSN, University of Kentucky, 2002
BSN, University of Kentucky, 1999


Developing and evaluating tobacco treatment programs for marginalized populations, particularly individuals living with mental illnesses and substance abuse disorders


Dr. Zim Okoli's CV


Okoli, C. T. A comparison of survey measures and biomarkers of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure among nonsmokers. (2016), Public Health Nursing 1 (33), 82-89.

Okoli, C. T. Kodet, j. Robertson, H. Behavioral and physiological responses to nicotine patch administration among nonsmokers. (2016), Biological Research for Nursing 1 (18), 60-67.

Okoli, C. T. Rayens, M. K. Wiggins, A. T. Ickes, M. J. Butler, K. M. Hahn, E. J. (in press) Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and susceptibility to smoking, perceived addiction, and psychobehavioral symptoms among college students . (2016), Journal of American College Health 64 (2), 96-103.

Khara, M. Okoli, C. T. Okoli, C. T. Nagarajan, V. D. Aziz, F. Hanley, C. Smoking cessation outcomes of referral to a specialist hospital outpatient clinic. (2015), The American Journal on Addictions (24), 561-570.

Okoli, C. T. Kodet, J. A systematic review of secondhand tobacco smoke exposure and smoking behaviors: Smoking status, susceptibility, initiation, dependence, and cessation. (2015), Addictive Behaviors (47), 22-32.


Okoli, C. T. 2016, September. The impact of substance use (alcohol, tobacco and other drugs) on cognition and recovery. 8th Annual conference for CETCLEVELAND® Coaches and Trainers, Cleveland, OH United States.

Okoli, C. T., Mason, D. E., El-Mallakh, P., Roberston, H. 2016, October. Developing a tailored tobacco treatment program for individuals with schizophrenia: A mixed-methods study. 30th Annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association Conference, Hartford, CT United States.

Okoli, C. T., Woods, ., Robertson , H. 2016, October. Intentions and barriers to providing tobacco treatment among providers in a psychiatric hospital: An application of the Theory of Planned Behavior. 30th Annual American Psychiatric Nurses Association Conference,, Hartford, CT United States.

Okoli, C. T., Khara, M. 2016, March. Treatment outcomes from the Vancouver General Hospital Smoking Cessation Clinic. National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Ottawa, ON, Canada.

Okoli, C. T., Pederson, A. 2016, March. An equity lens on the implementation and enforcement of a smoke-free policy in parks and beaches in Vancouver, Canada. National Conference on Tobacco or Health, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


Nicotine and Tobacco Product Use in Cardiac Patients
Project Period: Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Total Award: $10,000
Sponsor: University of Vermont