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Dependence Behaviors and Nicotine Pharmacokinetics Associated with blu Electronic Cigarettes in Current Users

Principal Investigator: Bartosz Koszowski and Megan Schroeder

Funding Mechanism: Research Contract

ID number: HHSF223201310030I; HHSF22301002T

Award Date: 4/9/2014

Institution: Battelle Health and Analytics


Due to their capacity to deliver substantial amounts of nicotine, e-cigarettes may precipitate or perpetuate nicotine dependence. Although systematic assessments of e-cigarette dependence behaviors are limited, it is important to understand how these products affect nicotine dependence and withdrawal behaviors. This study will investigate dependence behaviors and nicotine pharmacokinetics associated with e-cigarette use in experienced users. The investigators will conduct a clinical study measuring use behaviors, nicotine pharmacokinetics, subjective effects, and dependence in 20 experienced adult e-cigarette users (ages 18-55) who are either former smokers or current dual users. Participants will be randomized to use their own brand e-cigarette and two rechargeable e-cigarettes of different nicotine strengths on three study days. Participants will use these products several times each day; use behaviors and nicotine pharmacology will be compared among products and between the first and last use of each day. Plasma nicotine will be measured to assess pharmacokinetics; pharmacodynamics will be measured with heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation. E-cigarette topography and subjective effects will also be assessed. Findings will reveal if and how experienced users are able to adjust their nicotine exposure with different e-cigarettes and whether these products may be sufficient to maintain dependence. Research findings regarding how e-cigarettes are used and users’ resulting nicotine exposure may inform potential regulatory actions regarding e-cigarettes.