Initial puffing behaviors and subjective responses differ between an electronic nicotine delivery system and traditional cigarettes

Tob Induc Dis. 2014 Oct 10;12(1):17. doi: 10.1186/1617-9625-12-17. eCollection 2014.


Background: Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) present an emerging issue for tobacco control and data on product use behaviors are limited.

Methods: Participants (N = 38 enrolled; N = 16 compliant) completed three lab visits over 5 days and were asked to abstain from regular cigarettes for 72 hours in favor of ENDS (Smoke 51 TRIO - 3 piece, First Generation with 11 mg/ml filters). Lab visits included measurement of exhaled carbon monoxide (CO) and salivary cotinine concentration, questionnaire measures of regular cigarette craving after the 72 hour abstinence, and subjective product effects. Participants used a topography device to record puff volume, duration, flow rate, and inter-puff interval.

Results: Analyses revealed significant differences across products in puff count, average volume, total volume and inter-puff interval, with ENDS broadly showing a more intensive smoking pattern. Cigarette craving scores dropped significantly after smoking regular cigarettes, but not ENDS (p = .001), and subjective measures showed ENDS rated less favorably. CO boost, after ENDS use, decreased significantly (p < .001), and saliva cotinine significantly dropped between visits 1 and 3 (p < 0.001) after ENDS use relative to after cigarette smoking. For compliant and non-compliant participants, there was an average 82.0% [V1 - 16.1 cpd; V3 - 2.9 cpd] and average 73.9% [V1 - 20.3 cpd; V3 - 5.3 cpd] reduction in regular cigarette use per day during the ENDS trial period, respectively.

Conclusions: The ENDS were smoked more intensively than own brand cigarettes, but delivered significantly less nicotineand were less satisfying. These findings have implications for the viability of certain ENDS as alternatives to cigarettes.

Keywords: Behavior; Smoking; Subjective effects.