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Impact of Nicotine Reduction on Adolescent Cigarette Use, Alternative Tobacco Use, and Harm from Tobacco

Impact of Nicotine Reduction on Adolescent Cigarette Use, Alternative Tobacco Use, and Harm from Tobacco

Principal Investigator(s): Rachel N. Cassidy and Suzanne Colby

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R01DA047356-01

Award Date: 9/7/2018

Institution: Brown University


Youth who use multiple tobacco products differ from youth who solely smoke cigarettes in ways that may affect their responses to a nicotine reduction regulatory policy, which would mandate a reduction of nicotine in all commercially available cigarettes. The goal of this study is to examine the effects of very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarettes on multiple tobacco product use and toxicant exposure in youth. Following a one-week baseline period, researchers will randomize adolescent cigarette smokers (ages 15-19, n=120) who report past-month alternative tobacco product use to a four-week trial during which they will switch from their usual brand cigarettes to either VLNC or normal-nicotine content (15.8 mg/g nicotine) study cigarettes. This study will use laboratory-based assessments to investigate the effects of cigarette nicotine reduction on: cigarette and multiple tobacco product use; the harms associated with tobacco use, including nicotine and toxicant exposure; and effects on respiratory symptoms, perceived health risk, and nicotine dependence. Using real-time smartphone-based assessments in the natural environment, researchers will also examine the role of nicotine withdrawal and craving in understanding how cigarette nicotine reduction may affect other tobacco use. Findings will provide new information about the effects of VLNC cigarettes on real-world tobacco use and indices of tobacco-related harm in adolescents.