Aerosol deposition doses in the human respiratory tree of electronic cigarette smokers

Environ Pollut. 2015 Jan;196:257-67. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.10.013.


Aerosols from eight e-cigarettes at different nicotine levels and flavoring were characterized as particle number size distributions in the range 5.6-560 nm by FMPS and CPC. Results were used to provided osimetry estimates applying the MMPD model.Particle number concentrations varied between 3.26 x 10(9) and 4.09 x 10(9) part cm(-3) for e-liquids without nicotine and between 5.08 x 10(9) and 5.29 x 10(9) part cm(-3) for e-liquids with nicotine. No flavor effects were detected on particle concentration data. Particle size distributions were unimodal with modes between 107-165 nm and 165-255 nm, for number and volume metrics, respectively. Averagely, 6.25 x 10(10) particles were deposited in respiratory tree after a single puff. Highest deposition densities and mean layer thickness of e-cigarette liquid on the lung epithelium were estimated at lobar bronchi. Our study shows that e-cigarette aerosol is source of high particle dose in respiratory system, from 23%to 35% of the daily dose of a no-smoking individual.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Electronics
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Lung*
  • Nicotine
  • Particle Size
  • Smoking


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants
  • Nicotine