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Evaluation and Comparison of Impacts of Flavored Waterpipe Tobacco and Electronic Waterpipe E-Liquid Formulation Variations on Toxicant Yields and Particle Size Distribution in Mainstream Emissions

Principal Investigator: Stephanie Buehler
Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health - Grant
ID Number: 1R01ES033016-01
Award Date: 8/18/2021
Institution: Battelle Centers Public Health Research and Evaluation


The popularity of flavored waterpipe (WP) smoking has expanded in recent years to flavored tobacco-free alternatives, including electronic WP (EWP). EWP replaces the traditional WP bowl and heat source with an electronic head filled with flavored, nicotine-containing liquid (e-liquid), turning the WP into an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS). The goal of this study is to compare the impact of variations in flavor profiles, humectants, sugar levels, and heating temperature in a variety of commercially available WP tobaccos and EWP e-liquids on hazardous and potentially hazardous constituents (HPHCs) and other toxicant yields as well as particle size distribution in mainstream WP emissions. Specific aims are: (1) to characterize variations in formulations of a variety of commercially available WP tobaccos and EWP e-liquids by determining the flavor profiles and humectant and sugar content; (2) to determine HPHC and other toxicant yields and particle size distribution in mainstream emissions generated by machine-smoking the WPTs using a research-grade electric heater operating at a high and low temperature; and (3) to determine HPHC and other toxicant yields and particle size distribution in mainstream emissions generated by machine smoking the e-liquids at a high and low EWP power setting. To achieve Aim 1, nine WP tobaccos and nine e-liquid flavors within popular flavor categories will be selected and chemically analyzed using established methods. To achieve Aim 2, WP tobaccos selected in Aim 1 will be machine-smoked using a human-derived smoking regimen; mainstream emissions will be analyzed for volatile and semivolatile HPHCs, particle size distribution, and other toxicants. The heater and tobacco temperature will be monitored and recorded. To achieve Aim 3, EWP e-liquids selected in Aim 1 will be machine-smoked as in Aim 2 but using an EWP head with variable power. Findings may inform future regulatory actions related to WP and EWP. 
 

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