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Open Access JUUL and Combusted Cigarettes Comparably Impair Endothelial Function

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Objectives: JUUL and earlier generation electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are promoted as being less hazardous than cigarettes. JUUL Labs, in particular, claims that switching from smoking to vaping has beneficial impacts; however, the health effects of such products are not well understood. We investigated whether exposure to JUUL and previous generation e-cig aerosol impairs endothelial function comparably to cigarette smoke. Methods: We exposed rats to aerosol from Virginia Tobacco flavor JUUL, an e-cig tank system using unflavored free-base nicotine e-liquid, Marlboro Red combustible tobacco cigarettes, or clean air for 10 cycles of 2 second inhalation over 5 minutes. We measured endothelial function pre- and post-exposure. Blood was collected 20 minutes post-exposure for serum nicotine analysis. Results: Aerosol/smoke from JUUL, previous generation e-cigs, and cigarettes all impaired endothelial function. The extent of impairment ranged from 34% to 58%, although the differences between groups were not statistically significant. Nicotine was highest in serum from the JUUL group; for the other e-cig and cigarette groups, nicotine levels were lower and comparable to each other.Conclusions: Aerosol from JUUL and previous generation e-cigs impairs endothelial function in rats, comparable to impairment by cigarette smoke.

Erratum: In the paper by Rao et al. (Volume 6, Number 1, January 2020, pp. 30-37(8), DOI:, the graph in Figure 4 erroneously listed Y axis units as ng/dl instead of the correct ng/ml. The pdf for download has been corrected. The authors regret the error.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 2020

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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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