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Understanding the Real-World Impact of the Use of Three Alternate Nicotine-Delivery Products on Combustible Cigarette Use

Principal Investigator(s): Megan Piper

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R01CA239309-01

Award Date: May 8, 2019

Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison


In this study, researchers will examine how well e-cigarettes and very low nicotine content cigarettes (VLNCs) substitute for combustible cigarettes in real-world settings and whether this is influenced by nicotine patch use. Study aims are: (1) to examine the ability of VLNCs, e-cigarettes, and no alternative product to substitute for smokers’ usual cigarettes in real-world settings and whether these effects are influenced by nicotine replacement; and (2) to examine the effects of VLNC, e-cigarette, and no alternative product use on the use of study products and the underlying mechanisms that drive such use and whether these effects are influenced by nicotine replacement. Researchers will randomly assign 180 daily smokers aged 18 and older who are not planning to quit smoking to one of three study conditions: VLNCs, Juul e-cigarettes, or no alternative product. Participants will have access to these products for four weeks. During two different weeks, participants will be asked to switch from their usual cigarettes and use only their assigned study product. They will also be asked to use either a nicotine or placebo patch. Participants will record each time they use their own cigarettes or the alternative product in real time via a smartphone, and, for some use events, answer questions about the use context (e.g., affect, smoking permitted) and possible mechanisms driving use behavior (e.g., withdrawal alleviation, taste, satisfaction). Researchers will also examine the impact of factors such as sex, dependence, psychiatric comorbidity, and risk perceptions on use behavior. Findings may inform regulatory activities regarding e-cigarettes and VLNCs.