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VCU TCORS Project 3: Using Abuse Liability Data to Test Hypotheses about Advanced-Generation ECIGs and Generate Population-level Predictions Regarding Potential Regulatory Action

Principal Investigator(s): Caroline O. Cobb

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant

ID number: 2 U54 DA036105-06

Award Date: 8/28/18

Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University


Behavioral economic tasks reveal how much people are willing to pay for nicotine delivery, how hard they will work to earn nicotine delivery, and how price sensitive their product choices are. This project will use standard abuse liability assessments to examine the extent to which response to behavioral economic tasks is influenced by three potential regulatory actions: limits on e-cigarette liquid nicotine concentration, constraints on nicotine flux, and reduction in flavor availability. Study aims are: (1) to manipulate e-cigarette liquid nicotine concentration and device power to evaluate whether abuse liability is altered as nicotine concentration is lowered, and whether this effect is offset by higher power; (2) to manipulate nicotine flux to determine the extent to which willingness to pay/work and price sensitivity are directly related to nicotine flux; and (3) to manipulate e-cigarette liquid flavors to determine whether predictors of abuse liability vary with flavor differently for e-cigarette exclusive users than for dual users. The three aims correspond to three independent studies, each involving exclusive e-cigarette users and dual e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette users (ages 18-55).  Findings will provide new data regarding e-cigarette abuse liability in two populations that will likely be impacted by regulatory actions, and will generate predictions regarding the consequences of three potential regulatory actions.


VCU TCORS: Center for the Study of Tobacco Products Related Resources