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      Nicotine absorption from electronic cigarette use: comparison between first and new-generation devices

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          Abstract

          A wide range of electronic cigarette (EC) devices, from small cigarette-like (first-generation) to new-generation high-capacity batteries with electronic circuits that provide high energy to a refillable atomizer, are available for smokers to substitute smoking. Nicotine delivery to the bloodstream is important in determining the addictiveness of ECs, but also their efficacy as smoking substitutes. In this study, plasma nicotine levels were measured in experienced users using a first- vs. new-generation EC device for 1 hour with an 18 mg/ml nicotine-containing liquid. Plasma nicotine levels were higher by 35–72% when using the new- compared to the first-generation device. Compared to smoking one tobacco cigarette, the EC devices and liquid used in this study delivered one-third to one-fourth the amount of nicotine after 5 minutes of use. New-generation EC devices were more efficient in nicotine delivery, but still delivered nicotine much slower compared to tobacco cigarettes. The use of 18 mg/ml nicotine-concentration liquid probably compromises ECs' effectiveness as smoking substitutes; this study supports the need for higher levels of nicotine-containing liquids (approximately 50 mg/ml) in order to deliver nicotine more effectively and approach the nicotine-delivery profile of tobacco cigarettes.

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          Nicotine chemistry, metabolism, kinetics and biomarkers.

          Nicotine underlies tobacco addiction, influences tobacco use patterns, and is used as a pharmacological aid to smoking cessation. The absorption, distribution and disposition characteristics of nicotine from tobacco and medicinal products are reviewed. Nicotine is metabolized primarily by the liver enzymes CYP2A6, UDPglucuronosyltransferase (UGT), and flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO). In addition to genetic factors, nicotine metabolism is influenced by diet and meals, age, sex, use of estrogen-containing hormone preparations, pregnancy and kidney disease, other medications, and smoking itself. Substantial racial/ethnic differences are observed in nicotine metabolism, which are likely influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. The most widely used biomarker of nicotine intake is cotinine, which may be measured in blood, urine, saliva, hair, or nails. The current optimal plasma cotinine cut-point to distinguish smokers from non-smokers in the general US population is 3 ng ml(-1). This cut-point is much lower than that established 20 years ago, reflecting less secondhand smoke exposure due to clear air policies and more light or occasional smoking.
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            E-Cigarettes: Prevalence and Attitudes in Great Britain

            Introduction: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a means of recreational nicotine use that can potentially eliminate the need to smoke tobacco. Little is known about the prevalence of use or smokers’ attitudes toward e-cigarettes. This study describes use of and attitudes toward e-cigarettes in Britain. Methods: Respondents from three surveys were recruited from a panel of adults in Britain. Preliminary online and face-to-face qualitative research informed the development of a smokers’ survey (486 smokers who had used e-cigarettes and 894 smokers who had not). Representative samples of adults in Britain were then constructed from the panel for population surveys in 2010 (12,597 adults, including 2,297 smokers) and 2012 (12,432 adults, including 2,093 smokers), generating estimates of the prevalence of e-cigarette use and trial in Great Britain. Results: Awareness, trial, and current use increased between 2010 and 2012; for example, current use more than doubled from 2.7% of smokers in 2010 to 6.7% in 2012. The proportion of ever-users currently using e-cigarettes was around one-third in both years. In 2012, 1.1% of ex-smokers reported current e-cigarette use, and a further 2.7% reported past use. Approximately 0.5% of never-smokers reported having tried e-cigarettes. Conclusions: While we found evidence supporting the view that e-cigarette use may be a bridge to quitting, we found very little evidence of e-cigarette use among adults who had never smoked. British smokers would benefit from information about the effective use, risks, and benefits of e-cigarettes, as this might enable the use of e-cigarettes to improve public health.
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              Evaluation of Electronic Cigarette Use (Vaping) Topography and Estimation of Liquid Consumption: Implications for Research Protocol Standards Definition and for Public Health Authorities’ Regulation

              Background: Although millions of people are using electronic cigarettes (ECs) and research on this topic has intensified in recent years, the pattern of EC use has not been systematically studied. Additionally, no comparative measure of exposure and nicotine delivery between EC and tobacco cigarette or nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) has been established. This is important, especially in the context of the proposal for a new Tobacco Product Directive issued by the European Commission. Methods: A second generation EC device, consisting of a higher capacity battery and tank atomiser design compared to smaller cigarette-like batteries and cartomizers, and a 9 mg/mL nicotine-concentration liquid were used in this study. Eighty subjects were recruited; 45 experienced EC users and 35 smokers. EC users were video-recorded when using the device (ECIG group), while smokers were recorded when smoking (SM-S group) and when using the EC (SM-E group) in a randomized cross-over design. Puff, inhalation and exhalation duration were measured. Additionally, the amount of EC liquid consumed by experienced EC users was measured at 5 min (similar to the time needed to smoke one tobacco cigarette) and at 20 min (similar to the time needed for a nicotine inhaler to deliver 4 mg nicotine). Results: Puff duration was significantly higher in ECIG (4.2 ± 0.7 s) compared to SM-S (2.1 ± 0.4 s) and SM-E (2.3 ± 0.5 s), while inhalation time was lower (1.3 ± 0.4, 2.1 ± 0.4 and 2.1 ± 0.4 respectively). No difference was observed in exhalation duration. EC users took 13 puffs and consumed 62 ± 16 mg liquid in 5 min; they took 43 puffs and consumed 219 ± 56 mg liquid in 20 min. Nicotine delivery was estimated at 0.46 ± 0.12 mg after 5 min and 1.63 ± 0.41 mg after 20 min of use. Therefore, 20.8 mg/mL and 23.8 mg/mL nicotine-containing liquids would deliver 1 mg of nicotine in 5 min and 4 mg nicotine in 20 min, respectively. Since the ISO method significantly underestimates nicotine delivery by tobacco cigarettes, it seems that liquids with even higher than 24 mg/mL nicotine concentration would be comparable to one tobacco cigarette. Conclusions: EC use topography is significantly different compared to smoking. Four-second puffs with 20–30 s interpuff interval should be used when assessing EC effects in laboratory experiments, provided that the equipment used does not get overheated. Based on the characteristics of the device used in this study, a 20 mg/mL nicotine concentration liquid would be needed in order to deliver nicotine at amounts similar to the maximum allowable content of one tobacco cigarette (as measured by the ISO 3308 method). The results of this study do not support the statement of the European Commission Tobacco Product Directive that liquids with nicotine concentration of 4 mg/mL are comparable to NRTs in the amount of nicotine delivered to the user.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sci Rep
                Sci Rep
                Scientific Reports
                Nature Publishing Group
                2045-2322
                26 February 2014
                2014
                : 4
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center , Sygrou 356, Kallithea 17674, Greece
                [2 ]Abich s.r.l., Biological and Chemical Toxicology Research Laboratory , Via 42 Martiri, 213/B-28924 Verbania (VB), Italy
                Author notes
                Article
                srep04133
                10.1038/srep04133
                3935206
                24569565
                Copyright © 2014, Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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