Principal Investigator: Amy M. Cohn
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant
ID number: 1R01DA050990-01
Award Date: 4/28/2020
Institution: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The goal of this study is to examine response to smoking menthol and non-menthol very low nicotine cigarettes (VLNCs) in 100 young adult (ages 18-24) menthol smokers. Study aims are: (1) to determine the influence of menthol flavoring on smoking reinforcement in the context of a reduced nicotine standard in the laboratory; (2) to determine the influence of menthol flavoring on smoking reinforcement in the context of a reduced nicotine standard in the natural environment; and (3) to examine the impact reinforcement on tobacco product purchasing. To achieve Aim 1, abstinent smokers (>12 hours) will attend three laboratory visits where they will smoke a cigarette. During Visit 1, smokers will smoke their usual brand cigarette ad libitum; researchers will measure subjective response (satisfaction, craving reduction, psychological reward, sensory effects like throat hit), smoking exposure (carbon monoxide [CO] boost), and behavior (number of puffs, puff volume). Next, after 7 days of usual brand smoking, participants will undergo two experimental conditions at home: (1) 7 days smoking menthol VLNCs; and (2) 7 days smoking non-menthol VLNCs. For each condition, participants will be instructed to switch their usual cigarette for the assigned research cigarette but may use other tobacco products. (Each experimental condition will be separated by a 7-day wash-out period.) On the last day of each condition, participants will smoke the assigned research cigarette in the laboratory, and researchers will collect data on subjective response, smoking exposure, and behavior to compare craving reduction, positive subjective response, and CO boost among menthol VLNCs, non-menthol VLNCs, and usual brand. To address Aim 2, during each 7-day period, participants will complete twice-daily assessments of cigarette and other tobacco use, withdrawal, and subjective response; data will allow researchers to compare cigarettes per day, craving reduction, and positive subjective response for menthol VLNCs, non-menthol VLNCs, and usual brand. To address Aim 3, in a fourth visit participants will complete two tasks in the laboratory to indicate the impact of menthol and nicotine content on cigarette purchasing behavior in the context of all tobacco products currently on the market. Findings will provide new information about the abuse liability of menthol VLNCs.