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Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems: Comparative Topography Assessments

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Objectives: Due to rapidly emerging electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) technologies, increasing use in the US, and the unclear impact on users' health, investigating behavior associated with ad libitum ENDS use is an important research topic. ENDS use behavior is typically assessed either by direct observation or through smoking topography recording units; however, systematic comparisons between these methods are lacking. Therefore, we sought to compare 2 common methods to quantify ENDS topography. Methods: Current ENDS users (N = 18) used their own brand ENDS ad libitum in a clinical laboratory. We compared smoking topographybased recording units (desktop Clinical Research Support System; CReSS) and observational video-recordings with frame-by-frame (FxF) analysis methods to quantify ENDS topography. Results: Although CReSS analyses tended to estimate higher puff count and shorter average puff duration than FxF analyses, estimates of total puff duration were not different. Furthermore, both topography analysis methods showed significant associations with estimated nicotine intake. Conclusions: Neither the CReSS nor the FxF method is suited perfectly for analyzing ENDS topography. However, because FxF analysis is time-consuming and cumbersome, smoking topography-based recording unit methods may offer a more practical approach to measure ENDS topography; however, researchers must consider its limitations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 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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