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Vani Nath Simmons, PhD

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Vani Nath Simmons, PhD

Assistant Member

Office  (813) 745-4816

Education And Training
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute, 2006 - Behavioral Oncology
  • PhD, University of South Florida, 2004 - Clinical Psychology
  • MA, University of South Florida, 2001 - Clinical Psychology
  • BA, University of Michigan, 1998 - Psychology


Dr. Simmons’ research interests include the development of smoking cessation and relapse-prevention interventions for special populations including cancer patients, college students, and ethnic minorities.  A resumption of smoking among cancer patients can result in numerous adverse health consequences.  Dr. Simmons received a funding from the NCI to study smoking relapse among lung cancer and head and neck cancer patients.  Study findings led to an NCI-funded grant to test the efficacy of the first targeted smoking relapse-prevention intervention for cancer patients.  Dr. Simmons has also developed a line of research focusing on the systematic development of interventions for college student smokers.  The primary aim of her current study in this area is to test the efficacy of an experiential, theory-based, web-intervention for college smokers.  Finally, Dr. Simmons has conducted research on the development of culturally appropriate smoking relapse-prevention intervention materials for Hispanic smokers.

  • Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Quinn GP, Meade CD, Brandon TH. Prepartum and postpartum predictors of smoking. Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Apr;16(4):461-468. Pubmedid: 24203933. Pmcid: PMC3954426.
  • Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, Lee JH, Malo T, Klasko L, Rodriguez M, Waddell R, Gwede CK, Meade CD. Journal clubs: an educational approach to advance understanding among community partners and academic researchers about CBPR and cancer health disparities. J Cancer Educ. 2014 Mar;29(1):122-128. Pubmedid: 24078328.
  • Unrod M, Gironda RJ, Clark ME, White KE, Simmons VN, Sutton SK, Brandon TH. Smoking Behavior and Motivation to Quit among Chronic Pain Patients Initiating Multidisciplinary Pain Treatment: A Prospective Study. Pain Med. 2014 Feb. Pubmedid: 24528473.
  • Simmons VN, Heckman BW, Fink AC, Small BJ, Brandon TH. Efficacy of an experiential, dissonance-based smoking intervention for college students delivered via the Internet. J Consult Clin Psychol. 2013 Oct;81(5):810-820. Pubmedid: 23668667.
  • Simmons VN, Litvin EB, Jacobsen PB, Patel RD, McCaffrey JC, Oliver JA, Sutton SK, Brandon TH. Predictors of smoking relapse in patients with thoracic cancer or head and neck cancer. Cancer. 2013 Apr;119(7):1420-1427. Pubmedid: 23280005. Pmcid: PMC3604135.
  • Bejarano A, Litvin EB, Quinn GP, Brandon TH, Simmons VN. Distribution of smoking relapse prevention materials in the Hispanic community: lessons learned. J Cancer Educ. 2013 Mar;28(1):143-150. Pubmedid: 23055134.
  • Gwede CK, Castro E, Brandon TH, McIntyre J, Meade CD, Munoz-Antonia T, Simmons VN, Vadaparampil ST, Jimenez J, Quinn GP. Developing strategies for reducing cancer disparities via cross-institutional collaboration: outreach efforts for the partnership between the Ponce School of Medicine and the Moffitt Cancer Center. Health Promot Pract. 2012 Nov;13(6):807-815. Pubmedid: 22167362. Pmcid: PMC3708698.
  • Brandon TH, Simmons VN, Meade CD, Quinn GP, Lopez Khoury EN, Sutton SK, Lee JH. Self-help booklets for preventing postpartum smoking relapse: a randomized trial. Am J Public Health. 2012 Nov;102(11):2109-2115. Pubmedid: 22994170. Pmcid: PMC3477952.
  • Unrod M, Oliver JA, Heckman BW, Simmons VN, Brandon TH. Outdoor smoking ban at a cancer center: attitudes and smoking behavior among employees and patients. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012 Sep;18(5):E24-E31. Pubmedid: 22836544.
  • Simmons VN, Litvin EB, Unrod M, Brandon TH. Oncology healthcare providers' implementation of the 5A's model of brief intervention for smoking cessation: patients' perceptions. Patient Educ Couns. 2012 Mar;86(3):414-419. Pubmedid: 21784598. Pmcid: PMC3222746.
  • Simmons VN, Quinn G, Litvin EB, Rojas A, Jimenez J, Castro E, Meade CD, Brandon TH. Transcreation of validated smoking relapse-prevention booklets for use with Hispanic populations. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2011 Aug;22(3):886-893. Pubmedid: 21841285. Pmcid: PMC3804252.
  • Williams RJ, Herzog TA, Simmons VN. Risk perception and motivation to quit smoking: a partial test of the Health Action Process Approach. Addict Behav. 2011 Jul;36(7):789-791. Pubmedid: 21463920. Pmcid: PMC3081897.
  • Quinn GP, Jimenez J, Meade CD, Muñoz-Antonia T, Gwede CK, Castro E, Vadaparampil ST, Simmons VN, McIntyre J, Crocker TT, Brandon TH. Enhancing oncology health care provider's sensitivity to cultural communication to reduce cancer disparities: a pilot study. J Cancer Educ. 2011 Jun;26(2):322-325. Pubmedid: 21479572. Pmcid: PMC3673723.
  • Simmons VN, Jiménez JC, Castro E, Litvin EB, Gwede CK, Vadaparampil ST, Mclntyre J, Meade CD, Brandon TH, Quinn GP. Initial efforts in community engagement with health care providers: perceptions of barriers to care for cancer patients in Puerto Rico. P R Health Sci J. 2011 Mar;30(1):28-34. Pubmedid: 21449495. Pmcid: PMC3685431.
  • Simmons VN, Litvin EB, Patel RD, Jacobsen PB, McCaffrey JC, Bepler G, Quinn GP, Brandon TH. Patient-provider communication and perspectives on smoking cessation and relapse in the oncology setting. Patient Educ Couns. 2011 Jan;77(3):398-403. Pubmedid: 19846270. Pmcid: PMC2787754.
  • Ditre JW, Gonzalez BD, Simmons VN, Faul LA, Brandon TH, Jacobsen PB. Associations between pain and current smoking status among cancer patients. Pain. 2011 Jan;152(1):60-65. Pubmedid: 21168758. Pmcid: PMC3031140.
  • Simmons VN, Cruz LM, Brandon TH, Quinn GP. Translation and adaptation of smoking relapse-prevention materials for pregnant and postpartum Hispanic women. J Health Commun. 2011 Jan;16(1):90-107. Pubmedid: 21120739.
  • Simmons VN, Heckman BW, Ditre JW, Brandon TH. A measure of smoking abstinence-related motivational engagement: development and initial validation. Nicotine Tob Res. 2010 Apr;12(4):432-437. Pubmedid: 20190004. Pmcid: PMC2847080.
  • Simmons V, Vidrine J, Brandon T. Smoking cessation counseling as a teachable moment for skin cancer prevention: pilot studies. Am J Health Behav. 2008 Mar;32(2):137-145. Pubmedid: 18052854.
  • Lopez EN, Simmons VN, Quinn G, Meade C, Chirikos T, Brandon T. Clinical trials and tribulations: lessons learned from recruiting pregnant ex-smokers for relapse prevention. Nicotine Tob Res. 2008 Jan;10(1):87-96. Pubmedid: 18188749.
  • Simmons V, Brandon T. Secondary smoking prevention in a university setting: A randomized comparison of an experiential, theory-based intervention and a standard didactic intervention for increasing cessation motivation. Health Psychol. 2007 May;26(3):268-277. Pubmedid: 17500613.
  • Webb M, Simmons V, Brandon T. Tailored interventions for motivating smoking cessation: using placebo tailoring to examine the influence of expectancies and personalization. Health Psychol. 2005 Mar;24(2):179-188. Pubmedid: 15755232.
  • Simmons V, Webb M, Brandon T. College-student smoking: an initial test of an experiential dissonance-enhancing intervention. Addict Behav. 2004;29:1129-1136. Pubmedid: 15236813.
  • Brandon TH, Herzog TA, Juliano LM, Irvin JE, Lazev AB, Simmons VN. Pretreatment task persistence predicts smoking cessation outcome. J Abnorm Psychol. 2003 Aug;112(3):448-456. Pubmedid: 12943023.
  • Westmaas J, Nath V, Brandon T. Contemporary smoking cessation. Cancer Control. 2000;7(1):56-62. Pubmedid: 10740661.
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