Abigail Halperin, MD, MPH
Senior Lecturer, Family Medicine
Director, UW Tobacco Studies Program

Phone: (206) 616-4482
e-mail: abigail@uw.edu

Biographical Profile

Abigail Halperin received her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and completed Family Medicine residency training at University of Washington (UW) affiliated Swedish Hospital in Seattle. After 12 years in a primary care medical practice, she received a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree as a National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellow at UW and began a primary care clinical research and teaching career focused on the prevention and treatment of tobacco addiction and related diseases. She has been an investigator on projects funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Legacy Foundation to conduct research on reducing tobacco use among young adults and other priority populations, with a particular interest in increasing reach and effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions by health care providers in hospitals and other clinical settings. Dr. Halperin has consulted for the World Health Organization (WHO) Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), served on an expert panel for the CDC and has been a member of the strategic planning and evaluation committees for the Washington State Department of Health's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. From 2004 to 2012, she served as Medical Director for Free & Clear (now Alere Wellbeing Inc.), the largest provider of tobacco quit line services for states, employers and health insurance companies in the United States, and in 2007, developed and became Director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) Smoke Free Life Program, a tobacco cessation clinic for cancer patients at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and SCCA. In 2011, Dr. Halperin led a project that implemented systematic screening and smoking cessation treatment for all tobacco-using patients at the two UW Medical Center hospitals. She also founded and remains Co-Director for the International Quitline Institute (IQI), a collaboration with WHO, Alere Wellbeing, NCI and the CDC Foundation, and which provides tobacco cessation training and technical assistance for medical and public health professionals to expand services through telephone-based treatment in low- and middle-income countries. Dr. Halperin founded the University of Washington Tobacco Studies Program and has served as Director since its inception in 2002.

Teaching Interests & Roles

Individual and public health impact of tobacco use; policies and practices to reduce addiction to, and harms from, tobacco

Research Interests & Roles

Tobacco use prevention and treatment; Health policy; Reduction of tobacco and alcohol use among college students and other young adults; Global tobacco control

Current Projects

1-Director, UW Tobacco Studies Program an academic concentration and scholarship program for graduate students in public health and other health sciences degree programs, which includes two courses, mentorship, practicum experiences, presentation opportunities and thesis advising.
2-Project Director, International Quitline Institute , funded through
University of California-San Francisco/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Smoking Cessation Leadership Center in collaboration with Alere Wellbeing, the World Health Organization, and the CDC Foundation.

Clinical Practice Information

UW Medicine Provider Biographies

Education & Training



Degree or Credential



University of Washington MPH 2000
Albert Einstein College of Medicine MD 1983
Harvard University Post-Baccalaureate, Pre-med 1978
Wellesley College BA, Psychology 1977

Published Articles





Collaborative care psychiatrists' views on treating bipolar disorder in primary care: a qualitative study. Cerimele JM, Halperin AC, Spigner C, Ratzliff A, Katon WJ Gen Hosp Psychiatry
Tobacco use treatment in primary care patients with psychiatric illness. Cerimele JM, Halperin AC, Saxon AJ J Am Board Fam Med
Effect of nicotine replacement therapy on quitting by young adults in a trial comparing cessation services. Buller DB, Halperin A, Severson HH, Borland R, Slater MD, Bettinghaus EP, Tinkelman D, Cutter GR, Woodall WG J Public Health Manag Pract
Association of maternal smoking during pregnancy with infant hospitalization and mortality due to infectious diseases. Metzger MJ, Halperin AC, Manhart LE, Hawes SE Pediatr. Infect. Dis. J. 2013
Cigarette smoking and outcomes after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Tran BT, Halperin A, Chien JW Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant. 2011
Cigarette smoking and associated health risks among students at five universities. Halperin AC, Smith SS, Heiligenstein E, Brown D, Fleming MF Nicotine Tob. Res. 2010
Impact of symptoms experienced by varenicline users on tobacco treatment in a real world setting. Halperin AC, McAfee TA, Jack LM, Catz SL, McClure JB, Deprey TM, Richards J, Zbikowski SM, Swan GE J Subst Abuse Treat 2009
A case-based clinician training program for treating tobacco use in college students. Halperin AC, Thompson LA, Hymer JC, Peterson AK, Thompson B Public Health Rep
Building an academic tobacco control program while forging links with practice: the University of Washington Tobacco Studies Program. Savage SE, Halperin AC Public Health Rep
The tobacco industry's response to the COMMIT Trial: an analysis of legacy tobacco documents. Carlini BH, Patrick DL, Halperin AC, Santos V Public Health Rep
US public universities' compliance with recommended tobacco-control policies. Halperin AC, Rigotti NA J Am Coll Health 2003