Mary Rezk-Hanna

Mary Rezk-Hanna, PhD, FAHA

Assistant Professor
Location: 4-254 Factor Building
Phone: (310) 206-8654


"Having been born and raised in Egypt, I have become increasingly aware of the entrenched character of both Egyptian and American society’s’ younger population and their struggle with smoking, especially hookah smoking. For centuries, hookah was defined as an important cultural phenomenon and a masculine habit that is endemic only to male Middle-Eastern culture. Currently, Hookah smoking is viewed to be a popular social phenomenon that is heavily marketed to both female and male young adults of all ethnic backgrounds as a safer, non-addictive tobacco alternative. Many of my young patients who regularly smoke hookah do not consider themselves “smokers”. We know the detrimental health effects of cigarette smoking but little is known about hookah.”

Dr. Rezk-Hanna is an assistant professor at the UCLA School of Nursing. Her program of research focuses on vascular regulation and human cardiovascular physiology in the area of tobacco-related diseases. Her current work is particularly focused on studying tobacco and alternative tobacco products, specifically the effects of traditional hookah (i.e. waterpipe) smoking and electronic hookah vaping, on vascular function and understanding the underlying mechanisms involved. Dr. Rezk-Hanna served on the American Heart Association scientific committee that recently published a scientific statement on hookah smoking and cardiovascular disease risk. Her ultimate goal is to use physiologic data to drive evidence-based policy to regulate novel and alternative tobacco products and nicotine delivery systems. Dr. Rezk-Hanna is also a board certified nurse practitioner, where she completed her master's in nursing and graduated with honors from UCLA.


George Mason University, Virginia BSN, 2008 

University of California, Los Angeles MSN, FNP-C, 2011

University of California, Los Angeles PhD, 2016

Honors and Awards

2007-2008 National Dean’s List, George Mason University, Virginia

2010 California's Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health Award, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development

2011 Deloras Jones Nursing Scholarship, Student Award, Kaiser Permanente

2014 Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program, Pre-Doctoral Dissertation Research Award, University of California, Office of the President

2015 Sigma Theta Tau, Gamma Tau Chapter Research Award, UCLA School of Nursing

2016  UCLA Doctoral Student Nominee, Doctoral Hooding Ceremony Marshall

2016  Martha Hill Young Investigator Award Finalist, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, American Heart Association

2019  Research Article of the Year, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, American Heart Association

2020 Marie Cowan Promising Early Career Investigator Award, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, American Heart Association



Rezk-Hanna M, Nelson MD, Rader F, Benowitz NL, Rosenberry R, Chang C, Li N, Tashkin DP, Elashoff RM and Victor RG. Peripheral Blood Flow Changes to Cutaneous and Muscular Beds in Response to Acute Hookah Smoking. Am J Cardiol. 2020 125(11):1725-1731. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2020.02.042.

Rezk-Hanna M, Toyama J, Ikharo E, Brecht ML and Benowitz NL. E-Hookah Verses E-Cigarettes: Findings from Wave 2 of the PATH Study (2014-2015). Am J Prev Med. 2019 57(5): e163-e173. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2019.05.007.

Petersen AB, Sarna L, Rezk-Hanna M, Wells M, Nohavova I and Bialous S. "Everyone Needs a Breath of Fresh Air": Workplace Impact on Nurses' Smoking Behaviors. Cancer Nurs. 2019 Feb 27. doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000696. 

Bhatnagar A, Maziak W, Eissenberg T, Ward KD, Thurston G, King BA, Sutfin EL, Cobb CO, Griffiths M, Goldstein LB and Rezk-Hanna M. Water Pipe (Hookah) Smoking and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 2019 139(19):e917-e936. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000671.

Rezk-Hanna M, Mosenifar Z, Benowitz NL, Rader F, Rashid M, Davoren K, Moy NB, Doering L, Robbins W, Sarna L, Li N, Chang LC, Elashoff RM and Victor RG. High Carbon Monoxide Levels from Charcoal Combustion Mask Acute Endothelial Dysfunction Induced by Hookah (Waterpipe) Smoking in Young Adults. Circulation. 2019 139(19): 2215-2224. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.118.037375.

Rezk-Hanna M, Doering L, Robbins W, Sarna L, Elashoff RM and Victor RG. Acute Effect of Hookah Smoking on Arterial Stiffness and Wave  Reflections in Adults Aged 18 to 34 Years of Age. Am J Cardiol. 2018 Jun 5. pii: S0002-9149 (18)31206-2. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2018.05.033.

Rezk-Hanna M, Sarna L, Petersen AB, Wells M, Nohavova I and Bialous S. Attitudes, barriers and facilitators to smoking cessation among Central and Eastern European nurses: A focus group study. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2018;35:39-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ejon.2018.04.001

Rezk-Hanna M and Benowitz NL. Cardiovascular Effects of Hookah Smoking: Potential Implications for Cardiovascular Risk. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 21(9):1151-1161. doi: 10.1093/ntr/nty065.

Nelson MD, Rezk-Hanna M, Rader F, Mason OR, Tang X, Shidban S, Rosenberry R, Benowitz NL, Tashkin DP, Elashoff RM, Lindner JR and Victor RG. Acute Effect of Hookah Smoking on the Human Coronary Microcirculation. Am J Cardiol. 2016;117:1747-54. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.03.007

Rezk-Hanna M, Macabasco-O'Connell A and Woo M. Hookah smoking among young adults in southern California. Nurs Res. 2014;63:300-6. doi: 10.1097/nnr.0000000000000038