Liquid chromatographic analysis of carbonyl compounds in aerosols from high and low nicotine e-cigarette liquids mirroring realistic puffing topography
Catherine Kimber, Leon Kosmider and Jolanta Kurek
Catherine Kimber School of Psychology, University of East London
Background Previous studies on compensatory tobacco smoking suggest a more intense puffing regime, may augment exposure to potential toxins and carcinogens. The imminent European Tobacco Product Directive (EU-TPD) may, by restricting sales of nicotine concentrations > 20mg/mL, compel ‘vapers’ to reduce their nicotine intake, and lead to more intensive puffing (as documented by Dawkins et al., under review). This study aimed to establish whether more intense puffing regimes produce higher levels of toxicants from e-cigarette nicotine aerosols.
Methods Using HPLC/diode array analysis, four carbonyl compounds were quantified in aerosols produced from 24mg/mL and 6mg/mL nicotine solutions. Aerosols were generated by a smoking machine configured to replicate puffing topography data obtained from 12 experienced vapers using both nicotine concentrations for 60 minutes (Dawkins et al.).
Results Levels of aerosol carbonyls detected from 6mg/mL nicotine liquid were higher than those from 24mg/mL.
Conclusions The smoking machine, programmed with a more intensive puffing schedule resulted in higher aerosol levels of formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acetone. Our findings suggest, vapers making a sudden switch to much lower nicotine strength e-liquids (either due the EU-TPD implementation or personal choice) may inadvertently increase their exposure to carbonyl compounds through compensatory puffing regimes.
Mrs Kimber is a PhD student at the School of Psychology at the University of East London. Her research is concerned with nicotine and smoking addiction with a focus on e-cigarette use. Earlier work projects looked at the relationship between e-cigarette types and their appeal to smokers (Dawkins, Kimber, Puwanesarasa & Soar, 2015). She was also involved in other work which include the effects of nicotine on smokers’ cognitive functioning. Her PhD is looking at compensatory behaviours in e-cigarette use, nicotine delivery and e-cigarettes’ efficacy as smoking cessation aids.
Source of funding: The study was fully funded by the University of East London through a PhD studentship excellence allocated to the first author
Declaration of interest: The first author has no financial or non-financial conflict of interest to declare.
All authors declare that they have received no support from any companies for this work and there are no non-financial conflicts of interest that would be considered relevant to this work.