Higher nicotine content and flavors increase e-cig abuse liability


As debates over nicotine and flavors in e-cigarettes continues to heat up, Mari Gades, Aleksandra Alcheva, Amy Riegelman, and Dorothy Hatsukami just published “The role of nicotine and flavor in the abuse potential and appeal of electronic cigarettes for adult current and former cigarette and electronic cigarette users: A systematic review” in Nicotine and Tobacco Research.

This comprehensive review summarizes and synthesizes results from 104 epidemiological studies ranging from human epidemiology to animal studies. The picture that emerges is very clear: “higher nicotine concentration and access to a variety of flavors are likely to be associated with higher abuse potential and appeal of e-cigarettes for adult current and former cigarette and e-cigarette users.”

In particular:

  • Increased nicotine concentrations in e-liquid were associated with higher abuse potential and appeal in animals and for adult cigarette, e-cigarette, and dual users.
  • Flavors, especially non-tobacco flavors, were related to increased abuse potential, especially through increasing the appeal of e-cigarettes.
  • While nicotine and flavor have their own rewarding effects, their interaction may further increase the abuse potential and appeal of an e-cigarette through decreasing negative sensory experiences and increasing positive ones.

The major substance of the scientific review is thorough and represents an important contribution to our understanding of how nicotine levels and flavors impact abuse liability of e-cigarettes.

Read full article here.

Stanton Glantz – profglantz.com – 2022-03-22.

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