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Understanding the Association Between Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Emissions, Tobacco Product Characteristics and User Topography and Consumption Behavior

Principal Investigator(s): Edward Hensel

Funding Mechanism: NIH Grant

ID number: 1R21ES029984-01A1

Award Date: May 24, 2019

Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology


There is a lack of consensus regarding appropriate metrics for reporting e-cigarette emissions.  The total particulate mass concentration, CTPM, of whole aerosol emissions is dependent upon both user topography behavior and e-cigarette/e-liquid product characteristics; the mass ratio of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHC) (fHPHC) and nicotine (fNic) present in aerosol emissions are different functions of topography behavior and product characteristics. The researchers propose a theoretical framework that defines the product of the two terms as HPHC mass concentration: CHPHC [mg/mL] = fHPHC [mg/mg] x CTPM [mg/mL]; similarly, for nicotine, CNic [mg/mL] = fNic [mg/mg] x CTPM [mg/mL];. The goals of this study are to use this framework to develop a standardized test protocol for e-cigarettes and e-liquids, propose standardized emissions outcome measures, and inform the development of criteria to distinguish low- and high-dose ENDS. Study aims are: (1) to conduct screening studies of 24 e-cigarette products and 8 e-liquid compositions to inform the creation of a formal, standardized e-cigarette emissions test protocol; (2) to evaluate total particulate mass concentration as a function of product characteristics and user topography behavior; and (3) to evaluate HPHC and nicotine mass ratio of emissions present in whole aerosol as a function of product characteristics and user behavior characteristics. Findings may inform standardized testing processes for e-cigarette emissions.