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The University of Southampton
Centre for Risk Research

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: Intersection of Abuse Liability and Risk- Taking/Discounting Event

Dr Caroline Cobb, Dr Andrew Barnes
14:00 - 15:00
12 March 2021
Online, MS Teams

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Mario Brito at .

Event details


Risk-taking and delay discounting are each thought to underlie substance use behaviors, and have therefore become targets for clinical and policy interventions. However, these patterns of decision-making are not well-characterized among electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS or e-cigarette) users. Further, whether risk-taking or delay discounting influences the abuse liability of ENDS and whether these relationships differ between exclusive ENDS users and dual users of ENDS and combustible cigarettes is unknown. This presentation will describe emerging findings from several clinical laboratory studies performed in the United States focused on indices of ENDS abuse liability including nicotine delivery and behavioral economic measures (purchase tasks, progressive ratio task) and their intersection with measures of risk-taking and delay discounting behavior.  Clinical and policy implications will be discussed.


Speakers Biographies:

Dr. Caroline Cobb, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Health Psychology Program in VCU's Department of Psychology and affiliate member of the VCU Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, Massey Cancer Center and Department of Health Behavior and Policy. Dr. Cobb obtained her doctorate in experimental psychology in 2012 from VCU with a specialization in biopsychology. She then spent two years as the Ellen R. Gritz Postdoctoral Fellow in Tobacco Control at the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Legacy (now Truth Initiative), a nonprofit organization in tobacco control and prevention. Dr. Cobb’s program of research consists of several overlapping areas including clinical laboratory evaluation of tobacco products, population patterns of tobacco use, and tobacco regulatory science. A primary focus has been investigating the influence of novel and/or alternative tobacco products such as waterpipes, little cigars/cigarillos and electronic nicotine delivery systems on individual and population health. Her current and previous funding sources include the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, VCU Massey Cancer Center, Center for Tobacco Products of the US Food and Drug Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Cancer Institute.

Andrew J. Barnes, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Health Behavior and Policy at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Research Associate in Cancer Prevention and Control at Massey Cancer Center, and affiliate faculty in the Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, Center on Society and Health, and Center on Health Disparities.  His research interests include: 1) substance use policy, 2) tobacco regulatory science, and 3) behavioral economics.   He is the co-author of Healthcare Systems in Transition: United States of America and the forthcoming Economics of Health Reconsidered (5th edition), and co-editor of Behavioral Economics and Healthy Behaviors: Key Concepts and Current Research.  He completed his doctoral training in health policy with a concentration in economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, holds a Masters of Public Health from Tulane University, and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Biology from Pitzer College.

Speaker information

Dr. Caroline Cobb, and Dr. Andrew Barnes,Virginia Commonwealth University, Psychology Department,806 West Franklin Street, Box 842018, Richmond, Virginia 23284-201, USA. Emails: and

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