William G. Shadel

William G. Shadel
Senior Behavioral Scientist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D., M.A. in clinical health psychology and social-personality psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago; B.A. in psychology, Temple University

Media Resources

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William Shadel is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. He also is a member of the Biobehavioral Oncology Program at the UPMC-Hillman Cancer Center. Before joining RAND in 2005, he was a faculty member at Brown University and the University of Pittsburgh.

Shadel's research ranges from basic human laboratory work designed to understand the biopsychosocial mechanisms that contribute to smoking initiation and cessation to evaluating cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological smoking cessation interventions in the clinic and public health settings. He has published over 150 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters since 1993 and has been continuously funded as a principal investigator by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute on Drug Abuse since 1999.

Shadel's current grants examine how tobacco advertising at point-of-sale retail locations influences tobacco use behavior in adolescents and adults. He has been or is currently on the editorial board of several journals, was associate editor of the American Psychological Association journal, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, from 2005 to 2007, and has served as a regular and ad hoc member of several grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health since 1999.

Shadel received his Ph.D. in clinical health psychology and social/personality psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Research Focus

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Member, Biobehavioral Oncology Program, UPMC-Hillman Cancer Center

Recent Projects

  • Shrinking the size of the tobacco powerwall and restricting the number of tobacco products displayed to reduce adolescent tobacco use.
  • Experimentally testing legally feasible regulatory options for reducing the impact of the point-of-sale retail environment on adolescent tobacco use.
  • Testing the impact of tobacco product graphic warning labels at retail point-of-sale
  • Reducing the effect of tobacco powerwall displays at retail point-of-sale
  • The impact of standardized tobacco product packaging on young adults in the retail environment

Selected Publications

Shadel, W.G., Setodji, C., Martino, S., Dunbar, M., Jenson, D., Bialas, A., & Li, R., "Does removing menthol cigarettes in convenience stores reduce risk of future cigarette smoking? An experimental investigation in young people. ," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 251, 2023

Shadel, W.G., Martino, S., Setodji, C., Scharf, D., & Creswell, K., "Do graphic health warning labels on cigarette packages deter purchases at point-of-sale? An experiment with adult smokers," Health Education Research, 34, 2019

Shadel, W.G., Martino, S., Setodji, C., Cervone, D., & Witkiewitz, K., "Does self-efficacy causally influence initial smoking cessation? An experimental study," Addictive Behaviors, 73, 2017

Shadel, W.G., Martino, S., Setodji, C., Scharf, D., Kusuke, D., Sicker, A., & Gong, M., "Hiding the tobacco power wall reduces cigarette smoking risk in adolescents: Using an experimental convenience store to assess tobacco regulatory options at retail point-of-sale," Tobacco Control, 25, 2016

Shadel, W.G., Galvan, F.H., & Tucker, J.S., "Developing a nicotine patch adherence intervention for HIV-positive Latino Smokers," Addictive Behaviors, 59, 2016

Shadel, W.G., Tucker, J.S., Golinelli, D., "Readjusting our priorities: Helping homeless youth quit smoking.," American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49, 2015

Shadel, W.G., Martino, S.C., Setodji, C., Haviland, A., Primack, B. & Scharf, D., "Motives for smoking in movies affect future smoking intentions in middle school students: An experimental investigation," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 123, 2012

Shadel, W.G., Martino, S.C., Setodji, C., & Scharf, D., "Momentary effects of exposure to pro-smoking media on college students' future smoking risk," Health Psychology, 31, 2012

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

Recent Media Appearances

Interviews: BBC Online