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VCU TCORS: Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

Principal Investigator(s): Thomas Eissenberg and Alison Breland

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant

ID number: 2 U54 DA036105-06

Award Date: 8/28/18

Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University

Methods exist for assessing a regulation’s effects once it is in place, but few models predict impact beforehand. The VCU Center for the Study of Tobacco Projects (CSTP) will explore a model that may allow the prediction of regulatory impact. The model assesses how a potential regulation might change product toxicity, user behavior, and addiction/abuse liability. To verify the model, the CSTP will also examine the extent to which its predictions about potential regulatory effects describe actual population-level outcomes. This TCORS includes four projects. Projects 1, 2 and 3 will test hypotheses and generate predictions regarding the impact of three potential e-cigarette regulations (i.e., limit e-cigarette liquid nicotine concentration, constrain rate of e-cigarette nicotine emission or “flux”, reduce e-cigarette liquid flavor availability); specifically, researchers will assess how each potential regulation might influence product toxicity (Project 1), user behavior (Project 2), and addiction/abuse liability (Project 3). Project 4 will evaluate the predictions generated by Projects 1,2, and 3 at the population level by surveying current exclusive e-cigarette users and e-cigarette/cigarette dual users (ages 18 and older) every three months for four years. VCU CSTP’s goal is to provide tools to guide regulation development so that, by the time a regulation goes into effect, validated methods have tested it, refined it, and generated data showing that its health-promoting effects are maximized and unintended consequences are minimized. The model and associated tools may be used to shape, refine, and predict the effects of many potential regulatory actions in the future.

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