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Evaluating Concomitant Use of Very Low Nicotine Content Cigarettes and E-cigarettes among Daily and Non-Daily Smokers on Abuse Liability

Principal Investigator: Paul M. Cinciripini

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R01DA042526-01

Award Date: 8/15/2016

Institution: University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


It is unknown whether the potential of very low nicotine content cigarettes (VLNCCs) to reduce abuse liability might be offset by the concurrent use of e-cigarettes. The goal of this study is to model abuse liability in a market in which VLNCCs and e-cigarettes (an alternate source of nicotine) are both available. Study aims are: (1) to characterize the effects of dual use of VLNCC and e-cigarettes on abuse liability, nicotine compensation, and product use, liking, and relative reinforcing efficacy among 80 adult daily smokers; (2) to characterize the effects of dual use of VLNCC and e-cigarettes on abuse liability, nicotine compensation, and product use, liking, and relative reinforcing efficacy among 80 adult intermittent smokers; and (3) to characterize the effects of dual product use on abuse liability as measured by retrospective measures, smartphone daily diary, and real-time measures captured via smartphone ecological momentary assessment. Participants will smoke their usual brand during week 1 and will exclusively smoke VLNCCs during weeks 2-4. During weeks 5-7 and weeks 8-10, participants will be instructed to freely use any combination of VLNCCs and e-cigarettes with either high or low nicotine content (36 mg/ml or 8 mg/ml; three weeks each). The study will obtain information about the effects of dual use of VLNCCs and e-cigarettes with differing levels of nicotine on nicotine abuse liability, as measured by nicotine compensation, product use and liking, relative reinforcing efficacy, and assessments of withdrawal, craving, affect and satisfaction. Study findings may provide additional information on the impact of reducing combustible cigarette nicotine to a non-reinforcing level in a dual product use environment.