A new study found that 51% of labels on e-cigarette liquid nicotine containers from North Dakota stores did not accurately reflect the levels of nicotine.

Published in the July-August issue of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, the study examined products purchased from North Dakota retail stores selling e-cigarettes, but not required to have a tobacco retail license. The research team noted that 23 e-liquid containers claimed to have no nicotine, but 43 percent did, in fact, contain nicotine. Levels of nicotine in those e-cigs averaged 0.19 mg/mL, with the highest level found at 0.48 mg/mL.

The NDSU research team includes Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, associate professor of nursing; Donald R. Miller, professor of pharmacy practice; and research scientist Narayanaganesh Balasubramanian.

Of 93 e-liquid containers examined, 70 claimed to contain nicotine ranging from 3-24 mg/mL. Among those containers, 51 percent had nicotine outside the labeled amount, with 34 percent having less nicotine and 17 percent having more than labels specified. Actual content of nicotine ranged from 66 percent under the labeled concentrations to 172 percent over the labeled concentrations.

The Core Synthesis & Analytical Services Facility at NDSU measured the contents of the containers, using a high-performance liquid chromatography method. Results allowed for +/- 10 percent variation in nicotine concentration.

The study also found that 65 percent of the e-liquid containers were not child-resistant, with the potential to be easily ingested by a curious child.

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