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Composition and Biologic Effects of Flavored E-Liquids

CTP Supplement to Parent Grant: The Impact of Tobacco Exposure on the Lung's Innate Defense System (Supplement 02S2)

Principal Investigator: Robert Tarran

Funding Mechanism:  National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 3 P50 HL120100-02S2

Award Date: 4/24/2015

Institution: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

E-cigarettes are sold in many flavors, yet little is known about the impact of inhaling their chemical constituents or biological and psychophysiological effects and psychosocial influences contributing to their addictive properties. Both the tongue and the lung express taste receptors that elicit biological responses when savory, sweet and bitter compounds are detected. The goal of this supplement to an ongoing study is to determine the reinforcing properties of different e-liquid flavorings, determine the biological effects of flavored/sweet e-cigarette on taste receptors, and further determine the chemical constituents of e-liquids. Study aims are: (1) to determine the composition of flavored e-liquids by using mass spectrometry; (2) to determine the biologic effects of e-liquids by measuring the in vitro response of bitter and sweet taste receptors following exposure to common brands of e-liquids; and (3) to perform a psychophysical and psychosocial evaluation of the reinforcing properties of e-cigarette flavors, including menthol, to determine which flavors are associated with varying reinforcing and analgesic properties and how psychosocial stress affects the reinforcing properties of e-cigarettes. As part of Study Aim 3, researchers will test 75 adults (ages 18-45). Study findings may inform regulatory activities related to e-cigarette flavorings.


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