Introduction The present study examined the influence of flavouring on the smoking and vaping behaviour of cigarette smokers asked to adopt e-cigarettes for a period of 6 weeks.
Methods Participants were 88 current male and female smokers with no intention to stop smoking, but who agreed to substitute e-cigarettes for their current cigarettes. On intake, participants were administered tests of taste and smell for e-cigarettes flavoured with tobacco, menthol, cherry and chocolate, and were given a refillable e-cigarette of their preferred flavour or a control flavour. Participants completed daily logs of cigarette and e-cigarette use and were followed each week.
Results Analyses over days indicated that, during the 6-week e-cigarette period, cigarette smoking rates dropped from an average of about 16 to about 7 cigarettes/day. e-Cigarette flavour had a significant effect such that the largest drop in cigarette smoking occurred among those assigned menthol e-cigarettes, and the smallest drop in smoking occurred among those assigned chocolate and cherry flavours. e-Cigarette vaping rates also differed significantly by flavour assigned, with the highest vaping rates for tobacco- and cherry-flavoured e-cigarettes, and the lowest rates for those assigned to chocolate.
Conclusions The findings suggest that adoption of e-cigarettes in smokers may influence smoking rates and that e-cigarette flavourings can moderate this effect. e-Cigarette vaping rates are also influenced by flavourings. These findings may have implications for the utility of e-cigarettes as a nicotine replacement device and for the regulation of flavourings in e-cigarettes for harm reduction.
- Non-cigarette tobacco products
- Harm Reduction
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Contributors MDL and CO conceptualized the study and selected the measures. MDL wrote the grant application that outlined its design, with assistance from VD. MDL and VD wrote the procedure manuals. MDL supervised the overall project, and VD supervised those aspects related to taste and smell testing. MDL designed and implemented the data analysis, including statistical analysis, wrote the primary draft and edited all subsequent drafts. VD and CO provided critical interpretation of the results and edited the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.
Funding Support for this project was provided by Grant 1 R01 DA036492 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and in part by General Clinical Research Center Grant M01-RR06192 from the National Institutes of Health.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval University Institutional Review Board approved this study.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement No additional data available at this time. A complete data set will be made available after all aspects of the parent study have been completed.
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