NIH Renews Funding for Duke/Yale Collaboration on Tobacco Products

Sven-Eric Jordt, PhD

Dr. Sven-Eric Jordt

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has renewed a research program supporting collaborations between Dr. Sven-Eric Jordt’s Chemical Sensing, Pain and Inflammation Research Laboratory within Duke Anesthesiology and research groups at Yale University. The Yale Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (TCORS) has been awarded funding for five additional years to conduct research in support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) mission to regulate tobacco products. Jordt will receive $1,381,878 in funding to serve as co-principal investigator of a project studying the behavioral and toxicological effects of flavor additives in electronic cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, together with Dres. Nii Addy and Marina Picciotto in Yale’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Sairam Jabba in the Jordt lab contributed critical data and will lead the new research projects.

The TCORS was formed at Yale in 2013 under an original $20 million, five-year federal grant to research the influence of flavors, including menthol, on tobacco addiction. This work has provided science-based knowledge to the FDA, which regulates tobacco. The newly-awarded grant will provide researchers the opportunity to continue to investigate the influence of flavors and sweeteners, and other constituents, on the appeal and addictive potential of traditional tobacco products and newer products, such as e-cigarettes.

Dr. Sairam Jabba

Dr. Sairam Jabba

Under the new grant, researchers will 1) examine whether preconditioning to flavors and sweeteners influences nicotine use behaviors and addiction, and evaluate the influence of novel cooling agents, which may ultimately replace menthol in tobacco products, 2) examine the influence of sweet and cool flavors among youth who are susceptible to future use, along with evaluating whether sweet and cool flavors have different impacts on nicotine reward and switching behaviors in both younger and older users of combustible tobacco, and 3) determine the optimal delivery rate needed by tobacco users to relieve nicotine withdrawal while producing minimal positive effects, and whether the influence of this delivery rate is altered if combustible tobacco users switch from using mentholated to non-mentholated products.

The FDA began to regulate the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products in 2009 with the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. That law prohibits the addition of most artificial and natural flavors to tobacco cigarettes, although menthol is exempt.

(Source: Yale School of Medicine news release – September 17, 2018)

Stacey HiltonNIH Renews Funding for Duke/Yale Collaboration on Tobacco Products