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Nicotine research is different for different e-cigarette studies

A new study from Penn State College of Medicine researchers has shown that different electronic cigarettes or "electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)" have different levels of nicotine delivery to users. The most popular electronic cigarette brand, JUUL, for example, is proven to produce more nicotine at a faster rate than other brands. The study, entitled "Profile of Nicotine Absorption Among Regular Users of Pod-Based Electronic Nicotine Delivery System", was published in the latest issue of the journal. JAMA Open Network.

Electronic cigarette. Image Credit: Nicat Nasibli / Shutterstock

Electronic cigarette. Image Credit: Nicat Nasibli / Shutterstock

Jessica Yingst, the study's first author and researcher at the institute explained that there are studies that reveal that electronic cigarettes with cartridges containing higher concentrations of nicotine also provide lower nicotine to users compared to traditional cigarettes. To prove the proper nicotine delivery capacity of the e-cigs, the team then looked at the nicotine delivery capacity of JUUL and other brands. JUUL is said to contain the highest concentration of nicotine in the pod, Yingst said.

For this study, the research team recruited six JUUL users who were recruited between November 2018 to May 2019, and they were asked to suck their device for ten minutes at intervals of 20 seconds. A total of 30 gusts were recorded. Blood samples to test nicotine levels were calculated before vaping, during and after vaping. To detect the amount of nicotine in the participants' blood, the team used liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LCMS).

Yingst said, "JUUL users that we studied obtained blood nicotine concentrations almost three times higher than most e-cigarette users we studied previously. Delivery of nicotine JUUL is very similar to cigarettes. "JUUL's nicotine fruit also contains the highest nicotine of 59 mg / mL, the researchers said. The results revealed, "Among experienced users who took 30 puffs in 10 minutes, pod-based ENDS provided an average nicotine increase of 28.6 ng / mL in an average of 8.7 minutes."

In addition to the nicotine level, the team also asked the participants about their desires, withdrawal symptoms, and anxiety levels before and after vaping. To detect their addiction level, they also took the Penn State Electronic Cigarette Dependency Index questionnaire. The results showed that JUUL users had higher nicotine dependence based on self-assessed questionnaires. Their use and dependency is compared with 3,000 long-term users of other electronic cigarette brands. Besides the anxiety level was reduced after vaping with JUUL wrote the researchers.

The co-author of the study, Jonathan Foulds, a professor of public health, explained that these results were different from previous studies that tried to say that e-cigarettes were less addictive than regular cigarettes. He said, "In a previous study, we found that e-cigarette users were less addicted than smokers. However, high nicotine product shipments and scores in this study indicate that JUUL might be as addictive as cigarettes. "

The authors write, "This study is the first, according to our knowledge, to show that JUUL provides a higher and faster increase in blood nicotine than is reported for most other ENDS devices." obtained after smoking 1 stick, nicotine delivery of this product is similar. The ability to deliver nicotine from this ENDS device can contribute to its addiction as well as its ability to compete with cigarettes for market share. "

The study authors recommend that people who don't smoke should not start smoking e-cigarettes because they can be addictive. However, ordinary smokers can switch to less addictive and less nicotine sending e-cigarettes. Another co-author of the study, John Richie, professor of public health at the College of Medicine, said, "In our previous work, we decided that JUUL provided lower levels of harmful chemicals than cigarettes and even some other e-cigarettes."

But Foulds warned that JUUL and several e-cigarette brands could be dangerous to health. He said, "These types of products tend to be addictive and attractive to teenagers. But the same addictive qualities enable it to help adult smokers switch to far less dangerous forms of nicotine consumption. "

His words are similar to findings reported last month in the Journal Pediatrics which says that more and more teens are addicted to vaping because of the variety of flavors of candy and fruit offered to them. Researchers from the University of Southern California have blamed this taste cartridge for the vaping epidemic among teenagers and called for stricter regulations against this.

Journal reference:

Yingst JM, Hrabovsky S, Hobkirk A, Trushin N, Richie JP, Nicotine J. Absorption Profile Among Ordinary Users Pod-Based Electronic Nicotine Delivery System. JAMA Netw Open. 2019; 2 (11): e1915494. doi:

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