Tory Spindle


Doctoral Student
Health Program

Research Lab

Center for the Study of Tobacco Products

Faculty Adviser

Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D.

I completed my bachelor's degree in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013 and immediately joined the doctoral program in health psychology at VCU. My primary area of research is focused on gaining a further understanding of the behavioral pharmacology of nicotine and tobacco products, focusing primarily on electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). Specifically, my research seeks to identify how e-cig device/liquid characteristics and e-cig users’ puffing behaviors influence the acute effects of these products with the ultimate goal being to inform appropriate regulations for this novel tobacco product category. For my dissertation project, I am conducting a study examining the extent to which e-cig liquid propylene glycol (PG): vegetable glycerin (VG) ratio influences the acute effects of e-cig use. As a secondary area of study, I have partnered with Danielle Dick, Ph.D., and utilized the Spit for Science dataset to monitor longitudinal e-cig and cigarette use patterns of VCU undergraduates. Specific goals of this research are to determine whether the use of e-cigs lead non-smoking individuals to later use tobacco cigarettes and to explore possible correlates of e-cig use.

Select Publications

Spindle, T. R., Hiler, M. M., Cooke, M., Eissenberg, T. E., Kendler, K., & Dick, D. (2017). Electronic cigarette use and uptake of cigarette smoking: A longitudinal examination of U.S. college students. Addictive Behaviors, 67, 66-72.
Spindle, T. R., Hiler, M., Breland, A., Karaoghlanian, N., Shihadeh, A. L., & Eissenberg, T. (2016). The influence of a mouthpiece-based topography measurement device on electronic cigarette user’s plasma nicotine concentration, heart rate, and subjective effects under directed and ad libitum use conditions. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 19 (4), 469-476.
Soule, E. K., Maloney, S. F., Spindle, T. R., Rudy, A., Hiler, M. M., & Cobb, C. O. (2016). Electronic cigarette use and indoor air quality in a natural setting. Tobacco Control, 26, 109-112.
Spindle, T. R., Breland, A. B., Karaoghlanian, N., Shihadeh, A., & Eissenberg, T. E. (2015). Preliminary results of an examination of electronic cigarette user puff topography: The effect of a mouthpiece-based topography measurement device on plasma nicotine and subjective effects. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 17 (2), 142-149.
Breland, A. B., Spindle, T. R., Weaver, M., & Eissenberg, T. E. (2014). Science and electronic cigarettes: Current data, future needs. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 8(4), 223-233.


The Effect of Electronic Cigarette (ECIG) Liquid Vehicles on ECIG Acute Effects

Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Period: 8/2015 – 8/2018
Faculty sponsor: Thomas Eissenberg, Ph.D.


  • 2017, Outstanding Health Psychology Graduate Student Award, VCU Department of Psychology

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