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Can Established Vapers Distinguish Different PG:VG Ratios? A Pilot Study

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Objectives: We use the triangle test in this study to explore whether established vapers can distinguish small differences between e-liquid propylene glycol:vegetable glycerin (PG:VG) ratios at fixed levels of nicotine and flavor, to examine the extent to which solvent ratios affect sensory experiences. Methods: Watermelon flavored e-liquids (16mg/mL nicotine) used for this study differed in the ratio of PG:VG (30:70, 50:50; 70:30). Current vapers were randomized to one of 3 possible study conditions differing by PG:VG ratio. Participants sampled products following the triangle test, which presents 3 blinded products, 2 of which are identical. They were asked to identify and rate the 'odd' product. Results: Of the 14 participants who completed the study, 34.9% were able to determine the 'odd' product. Ratings on the subjective response scales for the 'odd' product were low. Aversion scores differed significantly by correct identification of the 'odd' product (p = .045). Conclusions: Established vapers in this study were unable to distinguish PG:VG ratios consistently, even for relatively large differences, and correct identification inconsistently related to subjective effects ratings. These preliminary findings suggest that the PG:VG ratio may not be a salient feature of vaping.
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Keywords: E-CIGARETTES; E-LIQUID; SUBJECTIVE RATINGS; TRIANGLE TEST; VAPERS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2018

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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