The first evidence-based model that can predict the amount of nicotine emitted by e-cigarettes has been developed by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center researchers at the VCU Center for the Study of Tobacco Products (CSTP). The model can predict the amount of nicotine emitted with up to 90% accuracy. Working in collaboration with investigators at the American University of Beirut, the research team collected data about characteristics of various e-cigarette devices such as voltage, the concentration of the liquid nicotine that could be put in the devices, and the length of time a user might inhale from the device in one puff.

The research team then developed a mathematical model to determine how much nicotine was emitted from the devices as the voltage and the nicotine liquid concentration was increased and the puff duration of the user was extended. According to a Massey Cancer Center news report, the model predicted that higher voltage e-cigarettes paired with high-concentration nicotine liquids could emit greater levels of nicotine than those of a traditional tobacco cigarette, dependent on puff duration.

Thomas Eissenberg, PhD, a member of the research team, says, “Laboratory results showed that nicotine yields from 15 puffs on an e-cigarette varied by more than 50 times across various device, liquid, and user behavior conditions.”

With the new mathematical model, researchers will now be able to predict with a great deal of accuracy how much nicotine will be delivered to an e-cigarette user before a device is even designed, as indicated on the Massey Cancer Center news release. Also, the predictions will further enable the researchers to inform federal regulators about evidence-based recommendations on e-cigarette design restrictions that could potentially avoid a serious public health disaster.

The Massey Cancer Center news release also notes that the model establishes the framework for a clinical trial that will evaluate novel tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, on health indicators and cigarette smoking behavior in people who are currently smoking tobacco cigarettes and who are interested in reducing their cigarette use. The trial recently opened at the VCU CSTP as well as Penn State University’s Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science in Hershey, PA.

Source: Massey Cancer Center