"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 cardiovascular 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 masters 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

2010 California's Student/Resident Experiences and Rotations in Community Health Award, Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development 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  Martha Hill Young Investigator Award Finalist American Heart Association 2019  Research Article of the Year American Heart Association 2020  Marie Cowan Promising Early Career Investigator Award American Heart Association 2020 Hellman Fellows Award, UCLA


Rezk-Hanna M, Gupta R, Nettle C, Dobrin D, Cheng CW, Means A, Brecht ML, Tashkin D, and Araujo J. Differential Effects of Electronic Hookah Vaping and Traditional Combustible Hookah Smoking on Oxidation, Inflammation and Arterial Stiffness. CHEST. In-Press.

Rezk-Hanna M, Seals D, Rossman M, Gupta R, Nettle C, Means A, Cheng C, Brecht L, Mosenifar Z, Araujo J and Benowitz N. Ascorbic Acid Prevents Vascular Endothelial Dysfunction Induced by Electronic Hookah (Waterpipe) Vaping. J Am Heart Assoc. 2021 10(5):e019271. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.120.019271.

Rezk-Hanna M, Holloway I, Toyama J, Warda U, Berteau L, Brecht M and Sarna L. Transitions in Hookah (Waterpipe) Smoking by U.S. Sexual Minority Adults between 2013-2015: The Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study Wave 1 and Wave 2. BMC Public Health. 2021 21(1):445. doi: 10.1186/s12889-021-10389-5.

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.

Darawad M, Rezk-Hanna M, Alhussami M, Lee J, Mostafa A, Abu-Rmeileh N, Kheirallah K, Salama M, Nakkash R, Saleh Z and Salloum R. Poly-Tobacco Use among Young Adult Waterpipe Smokers: Insights from University Students in Three Eastern Mediterranean Countries. Subst Use Misuse. 2020 55(13):2099-2108. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2020.1790010.

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. Can 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 JOncol 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.