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  1. Tobacco Science & Research

Does Abstinence from E-cigarettes Produce Withdrawal Symptoms?

Principal Investigator: John Hughes

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 1 R01 CA192940-01

Award Date: 9/9/2015

Institution: University of Vermont & State Agricultural College


Many e-cigarette users achieve nicotine blood levels from e-cigarettes that are much higher than those from nicotine replacement products and, in some studies, similar to those of cigarette users. Accordingly, abrupt cessation of e-cigarettes could be expected to produce withdrawal symptoms, an important feature of addiction; however, this hypothesis has not been tested. The specific aim of this study is to determine whether abruptly stopping e-cigarette use causes withdrawal symptoms. Researchers will recruit 80 adult (ages 18 and older) long-term e-cigarette-only users and instruct them to use their own e-cigarettes for five days and then abruptly stop using them for five days.  Participants will monitor symptoms of nicotine withdrawal daily by calling an interactive voice response system each night.  Abstinence from e-cigarettes will be supported by payments contingent on breath and saliva samples. Participants will attend three laboratory visits each week to provide carbon monoxide and cotinine samples to verify abstinence, complete longer surveys, and complete a task to measure whether their motivation to use e-cigarettes has increased. Study results will help determine the addiction potential of e-cigarettes.