Article

Acute electronic cigarette use: Nicotine delivery and subjective effects in regular users

Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Research Group, School of Psychology, University of East London, Water Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4LZ, UK, .
Psychopharmacology (Impact Factor: 3.99). 01/2014; 231(2):401-407. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-013-3249-8
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Electronic cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular among smokers worldwide. Commonly reported reasons for use include the following: to quit smoking, to avoid relapse, to reduce urge to smoke, or as a perceived lower-risk alternative to smoking. Few studies, however, have explored whether electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) deliver measurable levels of nicotine to the blood.
This study aims to explore in experienced users the effect of using an 18-mg/ml nicotine first-generation e-cigarette on blood nicotine, tobacco withdrawal symptoms, and urge to smoke.
Fourteen regular e-cigarette users (three females), who are abstinent from smoking and e-cigarette use for 12 h, each completed a 2.5 h testing session. Blood was sampled, and questionnaires were completed (tobacco-related withdrawal symptoms, urge to smoke, positive and negative subjective effects) at four stages: baseline, 10 puffs, 60 min of ad lib use and a 60-min rest period.
Complete sets of blood were obtained from seven participants. Plasma nicotine concentration rose significantly from a mean of 0.74 ng/ml at baseline to 6.77 ng/ml 10 min after 10 puffs, reaching a mean maximum of 13.91 ng/ml by the end of the ad lib puffing period. Tobacco-related withdrawal symptoms and urge to smoke were significantly reduced; direct positive effects were strongly endorsed, and there was very low reporting of adverse effects.
These findings demonstrate reliable blood nicotine delivery after the acute use of this brand/model of e-cigarette in a sample of regular users. Future studies might usefully quantify nicotine delivery in relation to inhalation technique and the relationship with successful smoking cessation/harm reduction.

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    • "In contrast to tobacco smoking, the vapour of an e-cigarette is not the result of a combustion process and is believed to have much lower health effects. However, the risks of e-cigarette use are uncertain which is due to the limited amount of scientific data regarding their health effects related to the variability of vaporisers, e-liquid ingredients and their quality (Dawkins and Corcoran 2014; Farsalinos and Polosa 2014; Grana et al. 2014). Moreover, there are also limited amounts of studies looking on the in vitro toxicity profile of e-liquids and e-cigarettes by using cultured cells of the lung (Misra et al. 2014), mammalian fibroblasts (Romagna et al. 2013) and myocardial cells (Farsalinos et al. 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: An electronic cigarette or e-cigarette is a battery-powered vaporiser that simulates tobacco smoking by producing an aerosol that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element that vaporises a liquid solution known as e-liquid. Even though invented in China in 2004, it was introduced only recently to the market worldwide (Pauly et al. 2007; Henningfield and Zaatari 2010) as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes. Since then, e-cigarettes have achieved aworldwide popularity with increasing sales every year. E-liquids usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerol, and flavourings with or without nicotine. In contrast to tobacco smoking, the vapour of an e-cigarette is not the result of a combustion process and is believed to have much lower health effects. However, the risks of e-cigarette use are uncertain which is due to the limited amount of scientific data regarding their health effects related to the variability of vaporisers, e-liquid ingredients and their quality (Dawkins and Corcoran 2014; Farsalinos and Polosa 2014; Grana et al. 2014). Moreover, there are also limited amounts of studies looking on the in vitro toxicity profile of e-liquids and e-cigarettes by using cultured cells of the lung (Misra et al. 2014), mammalian fibroblasts (Romagna et al. 2013) and myocardial cells (Farsalinos et al. 2013). Prompted by this background, the present study was performed to compare the shortterm and long-term toxic effects of tobacco smoke with those vapour of various e-liquids from Happy People GmbH, 80337 Munich, Germany.
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    • "This is perhaps not surprising given that almost all the studies of nicotine absorption from e - cigs suggest that they deliver markedly lower peak nicotine levels as compared to cigarettes , and that they deliver nicotine more slowly than cigarettes , both of which are characteristics likely leading to less addiction ( Bullen et al . , 2010 ; Dawkins & Corcoran , 2014 ; Nides , Leischow , Bhatter , & Simmons , 2014 ; Vansickel , Cobb , Weaver , & Eissenberg , 2010 ; Vansickel & Eissenberg , 2013 ) . "
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    • "Since their invention in 2003, there has been constant innovation and development of more efficient and appealing products. Currently, there are mainly three types of devices available [Dawkins, 2013], depicted in Figure 1. (1) First-generation devices, generally mimicking the size and look of regular cigarettes and consisting of small lithium batteries and cartomizers (i.e. "
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