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Effect of Waterpipe Tobacco Ingredients on Human Puffing, Exposures and Appeal

Principal Investigator: Marielle Brinkman

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R01CA209961-01

Award Date: 8/10/2016

Institution: Battelle Centers Public Health Research and Evaluation


Increases in waterpipe use may be due, in part, to the availability of sweet, fruit- and candy-flavored tobaccos that make inhaling tobacco smoke more appealing. Flavorings and high levels of sweet humectants produce harmful and potentially harmful constituents in the smoke, and are thought to contribute to the direct and indirect harm experienced by users. To define the effects of specific chemical content with respect to sweet perception and likability among users, researchers must use waterpipe tobacco that differs only in the variables of interest; however, there is no set of commercially-available tobacco brands for which this is true. In this study, researchers will manipulate commercial products  to systematically investigate the effects of sweet humectant concentration and flavorings on the appeal, puffing behavior, and toxicity of waterpipe tobacco smoking. Study aims are: (1) to characterize the content of four waterpipe tobaccos (one brand prepared four different ways to vary flavoring, humectant, and sweetness levels); (2) to characterize the mainstream smoke generated from the four waterpipe tobaccos; (3) to determine how waterpipe tobacco content impacts puffing behaviors, perceived sweetness and appeal of waterpipe smoking; and (4) to determine HPHC and particle exposure ranges from the average puffing behaviors measured under Aim 3 for each tobacco preparation.  Researchers will conduct mainstream smoke analyses and then conduct four laboratory smoking sessions with 40-48 adult waterpipe smokers (ages 18 and older) to collect data related to puffing topography and perceptions.