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Variable Voltage, Tank-Style ENDS Do Not Always Deliver Nicotine

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Objectives: In this paper, we characterize the nicotine delivery profile of a variable voltage, tank-style electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS). Methods: Ten cigarette smokers (8 men, 2 women) completed this within-subject study assessing effects of 2 device power settings (15 W, 45 W) and 3 liquid nicotine concentrations (0, 3, and 6 mg/ml) using a tank-style ENDS. Participants completed one directed (10 puffs) and one ad libitum use period for each condition, with blood sampled throughout. Results: Plasma nicotine concentration did not increase significantly at 15 W regardless of liquid nicotine concentration. At 45 W, mean plasma nicotine increased (not significantly compared to 0 mg/ml) from 2.24 ng/ml (SD = 0.2) at baseline to 3.4 ng/ml (SD = 0.6) in the 3 mg/ml condition. In the 6 mg/ml, 45 W condition, mean plasma nicotine increased significantly (compared to 0 mg/ml) from 2.0 ng/ml (SD=0) at baseline to 5.96 ng/ml (SD = 1.3) after 10 puffs. In general, puff duration and volume decreased as device power and nicotine concentration increased. Conclusions: Despite using a variable wattage, tank-style device, nicotine delivery was minimal. These results, when combined with results from other studies using tank-style devices, highlight ENDS performance heterogeneity. Regulation may play a role in standardizing ENDS nicotine delivery.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 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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