Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Thomas Eissenberg


Caffeine and nicotine are the two most commonly consumed licit psychoactive drugs in the world. In addition, they are frequently co-administered with over 86% of cigarette smokers reporting caffeine use versus 77% of non-smokers. Research suggests the combination of nicotine and caffeine produces effects that are more rewarding or pleasurable than either drug alone, and this potential reward enhancement may influence patterns of tobacco use initiation and maintenance. Waterpipe tobacco smoking is an alternative tobacco use method that is increasing in prevalence in the U.S. and offers a novel opportunity for nicotine and caffeine co-administration via a caffeinated tobacco product (Tangiers F-Line). Based on previous work, this caffeinated tobacco product was hypothesized to enhance reward-related and cardiovascular effects in waterpipe users relative to tobacco-only waterpipe preparations. Thirty-two waterpipe tobacco smokers who regularly drank caffeinated beverages participated in a four condition, Latin-square ordered, within-subjects study. In each condition, there was a 45-minute double-blind product administration period that differed by the content of waterpipe product smoked: caffeine and nicotine (Tangiers F-Line), nicotine and no caffeine (Tangiers), reduced (low) nicotine and caffeine (low nicotine Tangiers F-Line), or neither nicotine nor caffeine (Soex). Outcome measures included blood plasma caffeine and nicotine, cardiovascular response, expired air carbon monoxide (CO), puff topography, and subjective ratings. Plasma analyses revealed no detectable levels of caffeine from either caffeinated product, but significant nicotine exposure from all nicotine-containing products. Few differences between conditions were observed for subjective measures. Larger puff volumes were observed for products that contained low or no nicotine, resulting in higher CO concentrations for these conditions. While findings do not address whether caffeine can be delivered via volatilization, they suggest that measurable caffeine exposure was not observed for the products examined and under the conditions explored here. Importantly, study results support continued investigation of the effects of waterpipe tobacco smoking using a placebo-controlled design as well as demonstrate that tobacco dependence and toxicity capabilities are still concerns for these and other waterpipe products.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2012

Included in

Psychology Commons