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Vermont Center on Tobacco Regulatory Science

Vermont Center on Tobacco Regulatory Science

Principal Investigator: Stephen Higgins

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50DA036114-01

Award Date: 9/30/2013

Institution: University of Vermont and State Agricultural College


The Center will focus on researching tobacco product use and effects in vulnerable populations, including women of childbearing age/pregnant women, individuals with comorbid substance use disorders, and individuals with comorbid serious mental illness. In this context, the Center will study the following: (1) reducing the addiction potential of cigarettes and other tobacco products by reducing their nicotine content, and (2) the impact of new products on biomarkers of exposure and health outcomes in vulnerable populations. The Center will complete three multi-site research projects evaluating the effects of very low nicotine content (VLNC) cigarettes in vulnerable populations. Project 1 will examine response to VLNC cigarettes among women of childbearing age including pregnant women, investigating (a) behavioral-economic tests of reinforcing effects/abuse liability, (b) compensatory smoking, (c) ability to substitute for higher-nicotine content cigarettes, (d) effects on motivation to quit, (e) neurobiological response (e.g., neuroimaging with non-pregnant women only), and (f) biomarkers of tobacco-smoke/carcinogen exposure, pulmonary and cardiovascular effects, and birth outcomes. Project 2 will investigate response to VLNC cigarettes in smokers with substance use disorders. Project 3 will focus on testing VLNC cigarettes in smokers with major depression.


Vermont Center on Tobacco Regulatory Science (TCORS) Related Resources