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The Impact of Design Characteristics on the Modification Potential of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

Principal Investigators: Lyudmila (Lucy) Popova and David L. Ashley

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R01DA047397-01

Award Date: 9/7/2018

Institution: Georgia State University


Different designs of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) make them more or less likely to be modified by users, which may impact the public health effect of their use. The goal of this study is to evaluate who is most likely to modify ENDS, how and why consumers modify ENDS, how much modification is occurring, and what design characteristics lead to modification. Study aims are: (1) to identify ways that consumers modify ENDS; (2) to determine the extent to which ENDS modification occurs in the U.S. population; and (3) to evaluate the ENDS product characteristics that lead to modification and what motivates modification. To address Aim 1, researchers will conduct interviews with 12 ENDS enthusiasts, analyze social media websites, conduct three focus groups with 20 young adult ENDS users (ages 18-29) and three focus groups with 20 adult ends users (ages 30+); and individual interviews with 20 adolescent ENDS users (ages 12-17). To address Aim 2, researchers will conduct a population-level quantitative survey of current ENDS users (750 adults, 750 young adults, and 750 adolescents) to estimate the prevalence of modification activities and differences by user profile (e.g., dual ENDS/cigarette users vs. exclusive ENDS users). To address Aim 3, researchers will use the data from the quantitative survey to evaluate the association of ENDS characteristics with different types of product modifications. Findings will provide new information about ENDS modification activities and may inform regulatory activities related to ENDS design.