Flavor Toxicity

In Vitro and In Vivo Assessment of Flavorant Toxicity

Principal Investigator(s): Irfan Rahman, University of Rochester Medical CenterIrfan Rahman, Ph.D.

Flavors Toxicity

Commonly-marketed flavors in emerging tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, cigarillos, and waterpipe tobacco include tobacco, mint/menthol, fruits/candy, coffee/tea, chocolate, berries, crème/butter, clove/cinnamon, and alcoholic beverages. Underlying these flavors are chemical flavorings, some of which have known respiratory toxicity (e.g., diacetyl, cinnamaldehyde). Comparative toxicity data would be useful to clarify the health effects of these tobacco products.

The goal of this project is to determine and compare the effects of various flavorings in e-cigarettes, cigarillos, and waterpipe tobacco on toxicological and immune-inflammatory responses. Study aims are:

(1) to determine comparative in vitro toxicity of selected tobacco product flavorings using (a) the aerosol exposure system for cell-free reactive oxygen species reactivity, and (b) exposure to human lung epithelial cells via air-liquid interface and 3D culture;

(2) to determine comparative oxidative, DNA damage and immune-inflammatory responses to tobacco product flavorings in a mouse model to determine the link between flavoring toxicity and adverse respiratory health outcomes; and

(3) to identify comparative biomarkers in response to tobacco product flavorings. Assessment of toxicity within the same class of flavorings across different types of tobacco products will allow a toxicity/hazard ranking and information related to flavoring-specific adverse health outcomes.