Principal Investigator: Thivanka Muthumalage
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant
ID Number: 1K99ES033835-01
Award Date: 9/21/2021
Institution: University of Rochester
Menthol/mint and tobacco flavors contain harmful chemicals that can cause adverse cellular and molecular changes in lung tissue. The goal of this study is to identify constituents of menthol/cooling and tobacco flavors and their pulmonary toxicity and to determine potential biomarkers of disease. Study aims are: (1) to identify the chemistry of menthol, menthol-like (cooling), and tobacco flavors, including flavoring chemicals and secondary products formed upon aerosolization; (2) to determine the in vitro and in vivo toxicity and health effects of menthol, menthol-like, and tobacco-flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) in EpiAirway 3D tissues (tissues constructed of human tracheal/bronchial epithelial cells) and in mice under normal and pre-existing respiratory conditions (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma) (3) to determine in vitro and in vivo toxicity and health effects of exposure to responsible flavoring chemicals identified in Aim1 using EpiAirway 3D tissues and mice under normal and pre-existing respiratory conditions. Findings will provide new information about lung toxicity caused by menthol and tobacco flavored e-cigs, identify disease processes of asthma and COPD upon switching to menthol and tobacco flavors from combustible cigarettes, and identify the culprits in these flavored e-cigs causing lung disease and exacerbations, thus, providing critical information for regulation of constituents of these ENDS.