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USC TCORS: Tobacco Regulatory Science Investigating the Intersections of Products with Diverse Populations

USC TCORS: Tobacco Regulatory Science Investigating the Intersections of Products with Diverse Populations

Principal Investigators: Mary Ann Pentz and Adam Matthew Leventhal

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant

ID number: 2 U54 CA180905-06

Award Date: 9/14/18

Institution: University of Southern California


The University of Southern California Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (USC-TCORS) will conduct research on the use and health effects of specific e-cigarette products across populations. Researchers will study e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing approaches hypothesized to increase tobacco product attraction, use, and addiction in youth and young adult non-smokers and have little impact on tobacco product use in older smokers. These characteristics and marketing approaches include: (a) non-tobacco flavorings; (b) constituents and devices that produce large vapor clouds and the user experience; (c) modifiable devices; (d) device designs not resembling cigarettes; (e) cartoons in packaging and advertising; and (f) candy flavors or other youth-oriented marketing themes. The TCORS will include four projects. Project 1 will characterize publicly available social media postings of e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing themes and will study links with tobacco product use behavior in youth and young adults. Project 2 will involve vape shop customer interviews to assess the impact different e-cigarette regulation scenarios on tobacco product use. Project 3 will study associations of e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing exposures with tobacco product use and dependence across 10 years (ages 14-25). Project 4 will involve laboratory tests of the impact of e-cigarette product characteristics and marketing exposure manipulations on product appeal, abuse liability, and other outcomes.


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