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Yale TCORS: Flavors and E-cigarette Effects in Adolescent Smokers

Principal Investigator: Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health- TCORS Grant

ID number: 1P50DA036151-01

Award Date: 9/30/2013

Institution: Yale University


Adolescents are highly susceptible to using novel tobacco products like e-cigarettes. This project will evaluate whether commonly-used flavor constituents, including menthol, alter reinforcement from e-cigarettes in adolescent smokers. The project will include two studies conducted with 140 adolescent smokers aged 15-18. The first study will examine the following: whether menthol at doses that produce low and high cooling sensations alters reinforcement experienced from e-cigarettes that contain low (6 mg/ml) or high (12 mg/ml) levels of nicotine; whether these menthol doses are by themselves reinforcing; and whether preference for menthol vs. non-menthol e-cigarettes in the laboratory is related to the tobacco product type (i.e. menthol/non-menthol) used at one- and two-year follow-up. The second study will determine if a flavor (e.g. cherry, chocolate), when compared to menthol or in combination with menthol, alters the reinforcement from e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Specific aims are: (1) to examine if inhaled menthol doses that produce low and high cooling effects alter reinforcement from e-cigarettes containing low and high nicotine doses; (2) to explore if response to e-cigarettes containing menthol in the laboratory predicts preference for mentholated tobacco products at one- and two-year follow-up; and (3) to examine the independent and combined effects of inhaled doses of menthol and a second flavor on reinforcement from e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Investigators will also explore how smoking e-cigarettes relates to smoking regular cigarettes. This study will elucidate the responses of adolescent smokers to e-cigarettes and determine if flavors alter their addictive potential.


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