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The Time Course and Clinical Significance of Early E-cigarette Withdrawal Effects

Principal Investigator: Peter S. Hendricks

Funding Mechanism:  National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 1 R01 DA036027-01A1

Award Date: 12/10/2014

Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Data on the time course and clinical significance of e-cigarette withdrawal do not exist, and therefore a complete understanding of the addictive nature of these products is unknown. This study will characterize the early time course, clinical significance, and moderators of e-cigarette withdrawal effects, and will compare the early withdrawal effects of e-cigarettes to those of tobacco cigarettes. Participants will include 150 e-cigarette users and 150 tobacco cigarette users (ages 18 and older); some participants may be exclusive users of their product. Baseline measures will include demographic characteristics, e-cigarette history and use characteristics, nicotine dependence, abstinence-related thoughts and expectations, and intolerance for abstinence discomfort. Participants will then participate in one of two experimental sessions: four hours of abstinence or use as usual. Withdrawal effects will be measured every 30 minutes, and will include negative affect (Wisconsin Smoking Withdrawal Scale), physical symptoms (Minnesota Nicotine Withdrawal Scale), multifaceted craving (Tobacco Craving Questionnaire), anhedonia (Tripartite Pleasure Inventory), perceived reinforcement value of smoking (Cigarette Choice Procedure), and open-ended report. At the conclusion of the four-hour period, participants will complete the Behavioral Smoking Lapse Analogue Task, a task that measures the ability to resist the temptation to use e-cigarettes or cigarettes under conditions in which it is advantageous to remain abstinent. Analyses will evaluate e-cigarette withdrawal effect differences between abstinent and non-abstinent sessions, test the relationships between e-cigarette withdrawal effects and Behavioral Smoking Lapse Analogue Task performance, and determine if withdrawal effects and Behavioral Smoking Lapse Analogue Task performance differ between e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette users and across baseline measures. Study findings may inform regulatory activities related to e-cigarettes.

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