A noticeable difference between vape research conducted by independent sources (and that from the tobacco industry) is that it tends to be accessible by everybody. The majority of papers produced by tobacco control are inevitably locked away behind a paywall, restricting public access and scrutiny.
In “Changes in Puffing Topography and Nicotine Consumption Depending on the Power Setting of Electronic Cigarettes”, the authors set out to record how varying the wattage output of a device changed how the 21 subjects vaped.
What they discovered was that vapers compensate for a lack of required nicotine in vapour by vaping more frequently. This behaviour is termed: “nicotine self-titration”.
The observations matched what is already observed in smoker behaviour. The study has ramifications for future studies: “These findings could contribute to the understanding of patterns of electronic cigarette use and could explain the preference of dedicated vapers to higher power devices. Additionally, laboratory studies evaluating aerosol emissions should consider using different puffing patterns according to the power settings tested.”
In “Nicotine Delivery to the Aerosol of a Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Product: Comparison With a Tobacco Cigarette and E-Cigarettes”, the research team wanted to find out if HNB devices could match vape devices in nicotine delivery.
Tobacco and menthol HNB products were compared to cigalike, eGo, and variable wattage vape devices. They found that HNB delivers a greater level of nicotine than through vaping, but both systems were inferior to the nicotine delivery of a tobacco cigarette. “Intense” puffing with a vape product increased the volume of nicotine in the vapour.
“Nicotine delivery to the smoker is expected to play an important role in the ability of any harm-reduction product to successfully substitute smoking,” wrote the team. “The main findings were that the heat-not-burn tobacco sticks contained similar nicotine concentration to tobacco cigarettes, and that the levels of nicotine delivered to the aerosol of the heat-not-burn products were lower than tobacco cigarette, higher than e-cigarettes at low puff duration but lower than high-power e-cigarettes at longer puff duration.”
Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos has previously spoken about compensatory ‘self-titration’ behaviour and how it links to potential toxin exposure: “What I think vapers need to understand is that the amount of exposure depends on how much liquid you consume. The problem I see with subohming is that usually, when vapers transition from mouth-to-lung vaping to direct lung inhalation, they increase their liquid consumption by quite a lot. The more you consume, the more exposure to any potentially toxic chemical. If you double your consumption, you are doubling your exposure to toxins.”
“I think that today’s products release such low levels of aldehydes that you are probably exposed to more aldehydes by just staying at home and breathing the air in the house than from using an e-cigarette.”
- Changes in Puffing Topography and Nicotine Consumption Depending on the Power Setting of Electronic Cigarettes - Farsalinos, Poulas, Voudris - Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 20, Issue 8, 9 July 2018, Pages 993–997, https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntx219
- Nicotine Delivery to the Aerosol of a Heat-Not-Burn Tobacco Product: Comparison With a Tobacco Cigarette and E-Cigarettes - Farsalinos, Yannovits, Sarri, Voudris, Poulas - Nicotine & Tobacco Research, Volume 20, Issue 8, 9 July 2018, Pages 1004–1009, https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntx138