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Cigarillo Smoking: Smoke Toxicant Content and User Toxicant Exposure and Effects

Cigarillo Smoking: Smoke Toxicant Content and User Toxicant Exposure and Effects

Principal Investigator: Aashir Nasim

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- Grant

ID number: 1R21CA161317-01A1

Award Date: 9/14/2012

Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University


Cigarillo smoking has increased in recent years, especially among young adults, who comprise two-thirds of current users. Cigarillos appeal to young consumers because of their enticing flavors (e.g., grape, cherry, vanilla), their sweet aroma, their flexibility as an easily modified product, and perceptions of reduced harm compared to cigarettes. The goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of cigarillo smoke toxicant yield, cigarillo user toxicant exposure, and cardiovascular and subjective effects associated with cigarillo use. Study aims are: (1) to compare the toxicant yield of original cigarillos and cigarillos modified according to a commonly-used practice known as “hyping,” in which the reconstituted tobacco binder is removed; (2) to investigate toxicant exposure and effects of original and modified cigarillos in the laboratory; and (3) to examine toxicant exposure and effects when participants smoke original or modified cigarillos in their natural environment. Investigators will conduct three studies that correspond to the three study aims. In Study 1, samples of original and modified cigarillos will be connected to a smoking machine, which will generate smoke using human puff parameters derived from Study 2 (described below); the smoke will be analyzed to determine tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide (CO), and TSNA yield. In Study 2, which will evaluate acute toxicant exposure and effects, 32 subjects will complete three 2.5-hour sessions that differ by product used: original cigarillo, modified cigarillo, or unlit cigarillo (negative control condition with no toxicant exposure); investigators will evaluate plasma nicotine, expired air carbon monoxide, heart rate and blood pressure, subjective response measures, and smoking topography. Study 3 will evaluate longer-term toxicant exposure and effects caused by chronic original and modified cigarillo use in the natural environment. In Study 3, 32 subjects will complete three five-day conditions that differ by product used (original cigarillo, modified cigarillo, tobacco abstinence); investigators will evaluate urine concentration of metabolites of nicotine (cotinine) and TSNAs (NNAL).


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