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Reduced Nicotine Content Cigarettes and Cannabis Use in Vulnerable Populations

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Objective: We estimated whether recent cannabis use moderates response to cigarettes varying in nicotine content (0.4, 2.4, 5.2, 15.8 mg/g) among smokers with concurrent affective disorders, opioid dependence, or socioeconomic disadvantage. Methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of a multi-site, double-blind, laboratory study examining acute response to reduced nicotine content cigarettes (RNCC) in 169 adult smokers with co-morbid conditions. Participants positive for recent cannabis use or self-reported past 30-day cannabis use at baseline were categorized as current cannabis users (N = 63). Repeated measures analysis of variance tests assessed whether baseline cannabis use moderated cigarette reinforcement, tobacco withdrawal, craving, smoking topography, or carbon monoxide boost. Results: Cannabis users were younger, less educated, and had more depression and anxiety than non-users (p < .05). Cannabis use status did not moderate the effects of nicotine dose on concurrent choice testing, subjective effects of RNCCs, or smoking topography. After adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, cannabis users had higher ratings on Smoking Satisfaction, Enjoyment of Respiratory Tract Sensations, and Craving Reduction across all nicotine doses. Cannabis users reported longer withdrawal symptom duration and more rapid decline of carbon monoxide boost than non-users. Conclusions: Findings suggest RNCCs decrease the addiction potential of cigarettes in vulnerable populations independent of cannabis use status.
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Keywords: CANNABIS; MARIJUANA; NICOTINE REDUCTION; SMOKING; TOBACCO REGULATION; VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2018

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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