Human behavior can prevent or invite disease and is a major determinant of treatment success. Consequently, many efforts have been directed toward developing interventions to promote behaviors essential to managing or preventing respiratory disease. The process of developing, testing, and disseminating health behavior interventions should closely follow the translational research paradigm. However, most behavioral investigators have failed to adequately apply the translational research paradigm to behavioral research. The final stage of translation, consisting of testing the effectiveness of interventions in broad clinical settings after efficacy has been demonstrated in randomized controlled trials, is too often omitted. Additionally, the important task of understanding why any given health behavior intervention succeeds with some people but fails to change behavior in others is inconsistently pursued and seldom used to develop the robust theories of behavior change needed to improve respiratory health. Bringing health behavior research through the full translational process has the potential to significantly enhance respiratory health with specific behavioral targets, including smoking cessation, obesity prevention, TB control, and adherence to a multitude of respiratory treatments.