Faculty: Laurie Zawertailo, PhD

Laurie Zawertailo, PhDLaurie Zawertailo, PhD Associate Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology
Scientist, Addictions Program, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health

General Research Areas: Clinical Pharmacology; Drug Addiction; Neuropsychopharmacology; Drug Addiction

Dr. Zawertailo’s research interests are in the areas of behavioural and neurobiological aspects of tobacco dependence and treatment, especially in individuals with co-morbid depression or alcohol use disorders –sub-populations who have an especially high prevalence of tobacco dependence and tobacco-related morbidity and mortality. Dr. Zawertailo utilizes a variety of techniques to approach this research question including neuroimaging, behavioural and cognitive tasks such as cue-induced craving, genetics, randomized clinical trials, and large population-based approaches to smoking cessation. Her goal is to understand the neurobiological processes involved in tobacco dependence in order to optimize treatment outcomes in these specific co-morbid populations.


Selected Publications:

  1. Zawertailo L, Pavlov D, Ivanova A, Ng G, Baliunas D, Selby P. Concurrent e-cigarette use during tobacco dependence treatment in primary care settings: Association with smoking cessation at 3- and 6-months.  Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2017 Feb;19(2):183-189 doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw218
  2. Zawertailo L. Safety of smoking cessation drugs for mentally ill patients. Lancet 2016 Jun 18;387(10037):2481-2. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30294-X
  3. Malas M, van der Tempel J, Schwartz R, Minichiello A, Lightfoot C, Noormohamed A, Andrews J, Zawertailo L, Ferrence R. Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation: A Systematic Review. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2016 Oct;18(10):1926-36 doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw119. Review.
  4. van der Tempel, J., Noormohamed, A., Schwartz, R., Norman, C., Malas, M., & Zawertailo, L. Vape, quit, tweet? Electronic cigarettes and smoking cessation on Twitter. International Journal of Public Health. 2016 Mar;61(2):249-56. doi: 10.1007/s00038-016-0791-2.
  5. Cunningham JA, Kushnir V, Selby P, Tyndale RF, Zawertailo L, Leatherdale ST. Effect of mailing nicotine patches on tobacco cessation among adult smokers: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Internal Medicine 2016 Feb 1; 176(2):184-90. Doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7792.
  6. Selby P, Hussain S, Voci S, Zawertailo L. Empowering smokers with a web-assisted tobacco intervention to use prescription smoking cessation medications: A feasibility trial. Implementation Science 2015 Oct 1;10:139 doi: 10.1186/s13012-015-0329-7
  7. Zawertailo L, Baliunas D, Ivanova A, Selby PL. Individualized treatment for tobacco dependence in addictions treatment settings: The role of current depressive symptoms on outcomes at 3 and 6 Months.  Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2015 17 (8): 937-945 doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv013
  8. Zawertailo L, Voci S, Selby P. Depression status as a predictor of quit success in a real-world effectiveness study of nicotine replacement therapy. Psychiatry Research 2015;226(1):120-7. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.12.027.
  9. Le Foll B, Guranda M, Wilson AA, Houle S, Rusjan PM, Wing VC, Zawertailo L, Busto U, Selby P, Brody AL, George TP, Boileau I. Elevation of dopamine induced by cigarette smoking: Novel insights from a [11C]-(+)-PHNO PET study in humans. Neuropsychopharmacology 2014 Jan;39(2):415-24.doi:10.1038/npp.2013.209.
  10. Selby P, Andriash K, Zawertailo L, Persad D, Zack M, Busto U. Escalating doses of transdermal nicotine in smokers with psychiatric comorbidity: Effects of smoking behaviour and craving. J Clin Psychopharmacol 2013 Oct;33(5):667-74 doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e31829a829d.
  11. Chiuccariello L, Boileau I, Guranda M, Rusjan P, Wilson A, Zawertailo L, Houle S, Kapur S,  Busto U and Le Foll B Presentation of smoking-associated cues does not elicit dopamine release after one-hour smoking abstinence:  a [11C]-(+)-PHNO PET Study. PLoS One 2013;8(3):e60382. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0060382.
  12. Zawertailo L, Dragonetti, R, Bondy, S, Victor C, Selby P. Reach and effectiveness of mailed nicotine replacement therapy for smokers: six-month outcomes in a naturalistic, exploratory study Tobacco Control  2013 May;22(3):e4. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050303


Nicotine Dependence Service
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
1025 Queen Street West, 5th Floor
Toronto, ON M6J 1H4
Telephone: 416-535-8501 X 77422
FAX: 416-599-8265
Email: laurie.zawertailo@camh.ca