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Intentions, Perceptions, Patterns, and Toxicant Exposure

Principal Investigator: Theodore Lee Wagener

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R03DA041928-01A1

Award Date: 9/7/2016

Institution: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center


Waterpipe smoking is a growing trend among young adults. A potential reason for the appeal of waterpipe tobacco is that it is nearly always flavored with sweeteners and additional fruit, candy, savory and dessert flavorings. The goal of this study is to investigate the impact of waterpipe tobacco flavors on waterpipe initiation, smoking behaviors, abuse liability, and exposure to tobacco-related toxicants. Study aims are: (1) to understand how flavorings impact waterpipe initiation, smoking behaviors, abuse liability, and exposure to tobacco-related toxicants; and (2) to understand whether level of waterpipe dependence influences the impact of waterpipe tobacco flavoring on smoking behaviors, intentions for continued use, abuse liability, and exposure to tobacco-related toxicants. Sixty current waterpipe smokers (ages 18-50; 30 rated “low” and 30 rated “high” on the Lebanese Waterpipe Dependence Scale) will all complete four  waterpipe smoking sessions using four different tobacco flavors (i.e., preferred flavor/sweetened, preferred flavor/very low sweetened, unflavored/sweetened, unflavored/very low sweetened). Sessions will be preceded by 12 hours of tobacco/nicotine abstinence and separated by 48 hours, and waterpipe tobacco nicotine levels will be held constant across sessions. Researchers will collect measures of smoking behavior (puff topography), acute toxicant exposure (carbon monoxide boost and plasma nicotine), and self-report measures of abuse liability, intentions for continued use, and importance of flavors in using waterpipe. Findings will indicate whether flavorings influence users use behavior, intention to use, perceptions and subjective effects, and exposure to tobacco-related toxicants.