Allison Breland, Ph.D., in front of an iron gate

Alison Breland, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor

Co-Director, Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

100 W. Franklin St., Room 230

Health Psychology




  • Ph.D.: Virginia Commonwealth University, 2005

Research Interests

Dr. Alison Breland is an Associate Research Professor in Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Department of Psychology and Center for the Study of Tobacco Products. Their research is primarily focused on tobacco/nicotine, including the evaluation of novel products (such as electronic cigarettes) among adult tobacco users. Breland is currently funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as Co-PI (with Dr. Thomas Eissenberg at VCU) on VCU’s Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, and as Project Director for Project 2 (“Using User Behavior Collected in the Clinical Laboratory to Test Hypotheses about Advanced-Generation ECIGs and Generate Population-Level Predictions Regarding Potential Regulatory Action“). The goal of Project 2 is to use established clinical laboratory methods to examine, in independent studies each involving exclusive ECIG users and non-ECIG using smokers, the extent to which subjective effects, puff topography, liquid consumption and nicotine delivery are influenced by three potential regulatory actions. They are also a Co-PI (with Dr. Michelle Peace and others at VCU) on a National Institutes of Justice grant to study the effects of inhaling aerosolized ethanol in electronic cigarettes, and a Co-I (PI and PD = Robert Winn and Chanita Hughes-Halbert) on an NCI grant to generate novel empirical data that can be leveraged into precision strategies for lung cancer prevention.

Breland was also recently a Co-Investigator on a NIDA grant (PI: Kristin Ashford) to study the impact of electronic cigarettes on perinatal immune responsiveness and birth outcomes. Last, in addition to research, they are a Co-PI on a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, the goal of which is to build a statewide program of research on the causes and prevention of youth tobacco use.

Select Publications

  • Sawyer, A.N., Bono, R.S., Kaplan, B., Breland, A.B. (2022). Nicotine/tobacco use disparities among transgender and gender diverse adults: Findings from wave 4 PATH data. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 232, 109268. PMID: 35038608.
  • Eversole, A., Crabtree, M., Spindle, T.R., Baassiri, M., Eissenberg, T., Breland, A. (2021). E-cigarette solvent ratio and device power influence ambient air particulate matter. Tobacco Regulatory Science, 7(3), 177-183.
  • Maloney, S.F., Breland, A., Soule, E.K., Hiler, M., Ramôa, C. Lipato, T., Eissenberg, T. (2019). Abuse liability assessment of an electronic cigarette in combustible cigarette smokers. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, 27(5), 443-454. PMID: 32041833.
  • Breland, A., McCubbin, A., Ashford, K. (2019). Electronic nicotine delivery systems and pregnancy: Recent research on perceptions, cessation, and toxicant delivery. Birth Defects Research, 111(17), 1258 – 1293. PMID: 31364280
  • Breland, A., Soule, E., Lopez, A., Ramoa, C., El-Hellani, A., Eissenberg, T. (2017). Electronic cigarettes: What are they and what do they do? Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: Addiction Reviews, 1394(1), 5-30.


  • Tobacco Regulation in the 21st Century: The Role of Tobacco Regulation and Regulatory Science, graduate level


  • APA Prize for Interdisciplinary Team Research (as a team member of VCU’s Center for the Study of Tobacco Products), 2018
  • Grace E. Harris Leadership Development Program, 2015