Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas H. Kelly


Little is currently known about the ability of electronic cigarettes to manage tobacco withdrawal symptoms and their abuse liability. In the current study eight conventional cigarette smokers completed nine within-subject study sessions. In the first session participants practiced using an electronic cigarette containing 16 mg/ml of nicotine over six 10-puff bouts. Remaining study sessions were comprised of four two-day blocks (one for each condition), which assessed measures of tobacco withdrawal symptoms and abuse liability following unrestricted cigarette smoking and 24-hour tobacco deprivation. Study conditions included an electronic cigarette with 0, 8, or 16 mg/ml nicotine concentrations, or preferred brand of conventional cigarette. Following 24-hours of tobacco deprivation, smoking conventional cigarettes ameliorated many of the self-report and physiological symptoms (decreased heart rate) associated with tobacco deprivation, while no attenuation of withdrawal symptoms was indicated following using electronic cigarettes, independent of nicotine dose. On abuse liability measures there were no significant changes following using an electronic cigarette (regardless of nicotine concentration), while conventional cigarettes engendered significant changes on abuse liability measures. Within the conditions of this study, first-generation electronic cigarettes had no measurable efficacy in ameliorating tobacco withdrawal symptoms and a reduced abuse liability compared to conventional tobacco cigarettes.