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Manipulating Cigarette Constituents in Male Menthol Smokers

Manipulating Cigarette Constituents in Male Menthol Smokers

Principal Investigator: Cheryl Oncken

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 3 R01 DA036486-02S1

Award Date: 5/6/2015

Institution: University of Connecticut School of Medicine


FDA has the regulatory authority to reduce nicotine levels and ban menthol in cigarettes, but has not yet taken action in either area. In a parent study, researchers are examining the impact of these two potential regulatory actions alone and in combination on smoking behavior in 320 female menthol smokers. In this study supplement, researchers will study 57 male menthol smokers (aged 18-45) in order to examine whether there are gender differences in smoking behavior in response to reduced nicotine levels and menthol content. Specific aims are: (1) to examine gender differences in smoking rates in response to nicotine and menthol content manipulations in menthol smokers; (2) to examine gender differences in smoking motivation in response to nicotine and menthol content manipulations in menthol smokers; and (3) to explore the effect of “supertaster” status (i.e., individuals who experience taste with greater intensity than average) on tolerability of experimental cigarettes, smoking satisfaction, and smoking behavior. Researchers will randomize the male smokers to one of three alternatives – reduced nicotine content (0.07 mg) non-menthol cigarettes, reduced nicotine content (0.07 mg) menthol cigarettes, or conventional nicotine cigarettes (0.8 mg) – for six weeks with an additional six-week follow-up period. Researchers will then compare male and female data related to cigarette usage, exhaled carbon monoxide, and other measures in order to determine differences in use of, dependence on, and craving associated with experimental cigarettes. This study will provide insight into gender-based differences in the impact of menthol and reduced nicotine content cigarettes in menthol smokers.