The Impact of Flavor and Nicotine Dose on Electronic Cigarette Use and Acceptability Among Cigarette Smokers



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The purpose of this research is to better understand how electronic cigarette (e-cig) dose and flavor impact e-cig use and acceptability if the amount of tobacco in cigarettes were reduced to a non-reinforcing level, which the FDA is considering. This pilot project evaluated the impact of e-cig dose, flavor, and cigarette flavor preference on study e-cig use and satisfaction among cigarette smokers. Participants (n=20) were given study cigarettes with a very low dose of nicotine (0.4 mg/ml) and an E-Cig of either high (36 mg/ml) or low (8 mg/ml) nicotine dose in tobacco, menthol, fruit, and cream flavor to use at home. A within-subjects design was used to expose each participant to the low- and high-dose E-Cig for 3 weeks, each in a counterbalanced fashion. Because of the small number of participants, we did not conduct statistical analyses, but instead report means and frequencies. These preliminary results indicated that the lower dose e-cigs were preferred to the higher dose e-cigs, and menthol cigarette users who chose to use the menthol e-cigs had greater use and satisfaction than those who chose other flavors. These preliminary findings suggest that dose and flavor influence e-cig use and satisfaction, but these findings will need to be confirmed using the full sample. Results from the full sample will potentially help inform the FDA's impending regulations regarding e-cigs. This project was completed with contributions from Jason Robinson from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.