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  1. Tobacco Science & Research

A-TRAC TCORS: Toxicity of Flavors

A-TRAC TCORS: Toxicity of Flavors

Principal Investigator:  Aruni Bhatnagar and Rose Robertson

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant

ID number: 3 P50 HL120163-03S1

Award Date: 9/15/2015

Institution: American Heart Association


Many tobacco products – including cigars, cigarettes, cigarillos, and e-cigarettes – contain artificial flavors to enhance palatability and appeal. However, the toxicity of many of these flavors, especially when inhaled after heating or burning, is unknown. Specific aims of this project are: (1) to identify and quantify the chemical products generated due to the thermal degradation that occurs when tobacco product flavorings are heated or burned; and (2) to compare the relative toxicity of different flavorings commonly used in tobacco products before and after burning or heating. To address Aim 1, researchers will heat or burn major classes of common tobacco product flavor chemicals (i.e., alcohols, phenols, aldehydes, esters, ethers, hydrocarbons, ketones, lactones, organic acids, pyrazines, pyridines, pyrones) to determine the extent of degradation. To address Aim 2, researchers will use in vitro assays to measure whether chemicals from each major class of common flavor chemicals cause human platelet adhesion, human endothelial cell activation, and myocardial excitability; researchers will then compare results from these assays to discern the cardiac harm potential of different tobacco product flavorings and their thermal degradation products. This project may inform regulation related to flavored tobacco products.