The method, published today in the Journal of Environmental and Analytical Chemistry can also determine the levels of nicotine retained by an e-cigarette user following a typical vaping experience.
“For the first time, we have presented an experimental method to measure nicotine concentration in exhaled breath following e-cigarette use, and also a scientific process for measuring the impact of vaping topography on nicotine retention rates,” explained Dr. Grant O’Connell, Lead Scientist, Fontem Ventures.
“In the future, this experimental method could also be used to measure the concentration and retention rates of other e-cigarette vapour constituents, which is very useful for ongoing evaluations of e-cigarettes from both a consumer and bystander perspective.”
The study, ‘An Experimental Method to Determine the Concentration of Nicotine in Exhaled Breath and its Retention Rate Following Use of an Electronic Cigarette’, used e-cigarettes containing different concentrations of nicotine, which were evaluated using a conventional GC-FID method to first determine the concentration of nicotine delivered per puff by machine. Volunteers then vaped the e-cigarettes through a cigarette holder attached to a smoking topography analyser which recorded puff volume and puff duration, allowing researchers to measure the specific concentration of nicotine inhaled by the volunteer during each puff. Finally, a PTR-MS instrument was used to determine the concentration of nicotine exhaled.
We present for the first time an experimental method to determine the concentration of nicotine in exhaled breath following e-cigarette use in experienced volunteers and the impact that vaping topography has on the retention rate of nicotine. E-cigarettes containing different concentrations of nicotine were first evaluated by GC-FID to determine the concentration of nicotine delivered per puff by machine. These e-cigarettes were then vaped by volunteers through a cigarette holder attached to a smoking topography analyzer which recorded puff volume and puff duration. This allowed the concentration of nicotine in the aerosol inhaled by the volunteer during each puff to be determined. A PTR-MS instrument was then used to determine the concentration of nicotine exhaled following each use of the e-cigarette. By dividing this figure by the nicotine concentration delivered enabled its retention rate to be calculated. The principal finding was over 99% of the nicotine was retained by the volunteers when the e-cigarette aerosol was inhaled and a reduced but still substantial quantity was retained (on average 86%) when the e-cigarette aerosol was held in the mouth only (i.e. no inhalation). In both cases, the nicotine concentration detected in the exhaled breath was low (range 1.8 – 1786 ppb). The experimental method presented here may be used to determine the concentration of other e-cigarette aerosol constituents and the retention rate of those constituents which is useful for the evaluation of e-cigarettes from a consumer and bystander perspective.
Read the full study please click here.