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Reactions to Reduced Nicotine Cigarettes in Young Adult Low-Frequency Smokers

Principal Investigator:  Francis J. McClernon

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R01DA042532-01

Award Date: 8/15/2016

Institution: Duke University

Evidence suggests that reducing nicotine content in cigarettes reduces smoking behavior and toxicant exposure among dependent adult daily smokers, but more research is needed regarding the effects of nicotine reduction on experimentation with cigarettes among adolescents and young adults at risk for progression to regular use and dependence. The goal of this study is to evaluate reactions to, and choices to self-administer, cigarette smoke with varying nicotine content among 90 low-frequency (i.e., smoke less than 15 days per month), non-dependent adolescent/young adult smokers (ages 18-25 years). Study aims are: (1) to evaluate the effects of nicotine content on subjective reactions to fixed doses of cigarette smoke at three nicotine content levels in adolescent/young adult, low-frequency smokers; (2) to evaluate choice of study cigarette to self-administer following sampling the three nicotine content cigarettes; and (3) to evaluate moderators of reactions to, and choices for, cigarette smoke with varying nicotine content. Participants will undergo three sessions in which their reactions to fixed doses of smoke from investigational cigarettes with three different nicotine contents (15.8, 2.5, and 0.4 mg/gram of tobacco) will be measured. Following the third fixed-dose session, participants will return to the lab to choose one of the cigarettes to self-administer. This will provide an evaluation of the amount of nicotine in cigarette smoke that produces reactions and choices associated with progression from initial smoking to nicotine dependence.

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