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Waterpipe Tobacco Additives and Their Effect on Human Puffing Behavior, Toxicant Exposures, Pulmonary Function and Appeal

Principal Investigator: Marielle Brinkman and Theodore Lee Wagener

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant 

ID number: 1R01CA255563-01

Award Date: 9/15/2020

Institution: Ohio State University


Sweetened waterpipe (WP) tobacco may increase WP smoking appeal for first-time users; furthermore, high levels of sweet additives produce harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in WP smoke. The goal of this study is to define the effects of WP tobacco’s primary chemical additives with respect to sweet perception, appeal, toxicant exposure, addictiveness, harm and health risk perceptions, and lung function. Study aims are: (1) to characterize the HPHC and sugar content of four WP tobaccos (one brand prepared four different ways to vary glycerol and sugars); (2) to characterize the HPHC and sugar yields in mainstream smoke generated from machine smoking the four WP tobacco preparations using a research-grade waterpipe and a standardized WP puffing regimen; (3) to determine how WP tobacco content impacts puffing behaviors, a carbon monoxide biomarker, pulmonary function, nicotine uptake, and perceived sensory attributes and appeal of WP smoking, based on data gathered from 50 experienced WP smokers (ages 21-50) who will smoke the four different WP tobacco preparations in four different laboratory sessions; and (4) to determine the HPHC exposure ranges from the average puffing behaviors measured under Aim 2 for each WP tobacco preparation. Findings will provide new information about the impact of chemical additives in WP tobacco. 

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