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Carbonyls and Carbon Monoxide Emissions from Electronic Cigarettes

Carbonyls and Carbon Monoxide Emissions from Electronic Cigarettes Affected by Device Type and Use

Yeongkwon Son, Chiranjivi Bhattarai, Vera Samburova, Andrey Khlystov

Int J Environ Res Public Health https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32316435/

Dangerous levels of harmful chemicals in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) aerosols were reported by several studies, but variability in e-cigarette design and use patterns, and a rapid development of new devices, such as JUUL, hamper efforts to develop standardized testing protocols and understand health risks associated with e-cigarette use. In this study, we investigated the relative importance of e-cigarette design, power output, liquid composition, puff topography on e-cigarette emissions of carbonyl compounds, carbon monoxide (CO), and nicotine. Four popular e-cigarette devices representing the most common e-cigarette types (e.g., cig-a-like, top-coil, ‘mod’, and ‘pod’) were tested. Under the tested vaping conditions, a top-coil device generated the highest amounts of formaldehyde and CO. A ‘pod’ type device (i.e., JUUL) emitted the highest amounts of nicotine, while generating the lowest levels of carbonyl and CO as compared to other tested e-cigarettes. Emissions increased nearly linearly with puff duration, while puff flow had a relatively small effect. Flavored e-liquids generated more carbonyls and CO than unflavored liquids. Carbonyl concentrations and CO in e-cigarette aerosols were found to be well correlated. While e-cigarettes emitted generally less CO and carbonyls than conventional cigarettes, daily carbonyl exposures from e-cigarette use could still exceed acute exposure limits, with the top-coil device potentially posing more harm than conventional cigarettes.

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