Last updated on May 2018

Reduced Nicotine Cigarettes in Smokers With and Without Alcohol Use Disorder


Brief description of study

The proposed research will investigate whether smokers with vs. without current at-risk alcohol drinking (ARD) respond to reduced nicotine cigarettes by increasing their alcohol consumption or smoke exposure, thereby diminishing the hypothesized public health benefit of these new products.

Detailed Study Description

The current proposal examines response to two RNCs, one with low nicotine content (RNC Low; 0.03mg) and one with moderate nicotine content (RNC Moderate; 0.8mg) in daily smokers with and without ARD. Participants (N = 70) will attend a total of five visits to the laboratory. The first visit will be to classify participants as either ARD (n = 35) or Non ARD (n = 35) and gather baseline data. Participants will be assigned to undergo two experimental conditions (i.e., exclusive smoking of RNC Low or Moderate in their home environment for 7 days) in a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. The two experimental conditions will be separated by a 7-day period of return to smoking of participants' own brand of cigarette. On the first and last day of each of the two experimental conditions, participants will smoke the assigned RNC in the laboratory, and data on toxicant exposure (i.e., boost in exhaled carbon monoxide and plasma nicotine and cotinine; solanesol from smoked cigarette butts), subjective acceptability (i.e., subjective response; risk perceptions; relative reinforcing efficacy); and smoking compensation (i.e., smoking topography measures) related to the smoked RNC will be collected. During each 7-day period of exposure to the RNCs, participants will provide daily data on alcohol and nicotine use, nicotine withdrawal, smoking urge, and alcohol urge via telephone-based Interactive Voice Response technology. The strength of our study design is that we can evaluate both between-group (i.e., ARD vs. Non ARD) and within-person (i.e., RNC Low vs. Moderate) differences in response to RNCs and, furthermore, can examine whether increased nicotine withdrawal, smoking urge, and alcohol urge mediate the relation between decreased nicotine exposure and alcohol consumption. Results from this study will show what mechanisms underlying drinking and smoking may need to be addressed in future integrated interventions for both problems and will immediately inform the practical implementation of market-wide reductions in cigarette nicotine content among smokers with ARD.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02990455

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Erica N Peters, PhD

Battelle Memorial Institute
Baltimore, MD United States
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