With the help of Dr. Farsalinos, a doctor that devotes his time to scientifically proving the benefits of electronic cigarettes and the owner of ecigarette-research.org, has once again took part in conducting a new study that has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study was to study nicotine absorption from ecigs and conduct a comparison between vapers and smokers.
The study evaluated nicotine absorption from ecig use, and compared a group of experienced vapers (daily vapers for an average period of 19 months) with naive users (which were smokers). The equipment that was used was considered advanced at beginning time of starting the study, which was in late 2013. That being said, a Joyetech eVic Mod (at 9 watts) and a Kanger EVOD Clearomizer were used throughout the study. The participants of the study were asked to take 10 puffs within 5 minutes and then use the e-cigarette ad lib for 60 minutes. As a baseline, blood samples were collected, then at 5min, 20min, 35min, 50min, and 65min, and the plasma nicotine levels were measured. In addition, they recorded both puff number and puff duration in order to explore the association between puff topography and plasma nicotine levels.
The main finding of the study was that naïve users had significantly lower plasma nicotine levels compared to experienced users. That was associated with shorter puff duration. The association was statistically significant but weak, indicating that other factors are important in nicotine delivery to the bloodstream besides puff duration (such as inhalation time, depth of inhalation). Of note, the puff number was equal in the two groups, thus it had no effect on the differences in observed plasma nicotine levels. Both groups had lower plasma nicotine levels at 5min compared to smoking 1 tobacco cigarette. The conclusion was that, obviously, there is no risk of nicotine overdose from intended use of e-cigarettes in first-time users. Naïve users obtain less nicotine from e-cigarettes compared to experienced vapers, verifying that there is learning curve in e-cigarette use. Smokers should be properly informed that they might not get enough nicotine during e-cigarette initiation and that they need to adjust their use patterns. This is important in order to avoid an initial disappointment of smokers related to low nicotine absorption, which might result in abandoning e-cigarette use and eventually in an unsuccessful attempt to quit smoking.
As notation, Dr. Farsalinos wanted to point out again that the equipment used in the study is now considered outdated, but they have evidence that new-generation atomizers deliver more nicotine to the aerosol (and more so when using high wattage devices). They expect the new-generation systems will deliver nicotine at a faster rate and thus be more acceptable for smokers by satisfying their nicotine need.
It’s been known from past scientific studies and research that ecigs provide a better absorption rate than tobacco cigarettes. However, what this study is telling us is that new ecig users are receiving and absorbing less nicotine than an ecig user that is more experienced. The reason why there is a difference is because a new ecig user isn’t as comfortable with vapor or using an ecig as an experience user, thus resulting in a lower duration puff and a slower puff. In addition, other factors can be included as well, such as how long the user inhaled and how deep they inhaled into their lungs. What’s frustrating about this is that many smokers moving to ecigs may not continue to use an ecig because of the lack in knowledge of how to properly vape for the best results, and may even turn them back to what they’ve relied on for so many years, tobacco cigarettes. This is why I personally feel the need to continue helping smokers convert and need vapers successfully switch to ecigs. I also feel that the advancements of products in the past 2 years will greatly improve the success rate with smokers switching to ecigs.