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Abuse Liability of Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes in the Context of Concurrent E-Cigarette Use

Principal Investigator: Jed Rose

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R01DA042541-01

Award Date: 8/15/2016

Institution: Rose Research Center, LLC


Information regarding the impact of reducing the nicotine content of cigarettes on tobacco product use behavior would be helpful in understanding the potential consequences of possible nicotine regulation.  Researchers will randomize 320 smokers (both heavy, long-time smokers and lighter, younger smokers) to switch from their usual brands of cigarettes to research cigarettes with similar tar yields but five different nicotine contents. All participants will have access to concurrent use of e-cigarettes during the 12-week exposure period. Study aims are: (1) to assess the effects of cigarette nicotine content on abuse liability among smokers who also use e-cigarettes; (2) to measure nicotine discrimination thresholds and how they are affected by exposure to reduced nicotine content cigarettes; and (3) to determine the relationship between abuse liability of low nicotine cigarettes and extent of e-cigarette use. Researchers will assess the effects of cigarette nicotine content on measures of abuse liability including daily cigarette consumption, smoking reward and measures of dependence such as nicotine withdrawal symptoms. In laboratory sessions, researchers will measure nicotine thresholds for detecting and recognizing the rewarding effects of smoking.