Electronic Cigarette Topography in the Natural Environment

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 8;10(6):e0129296. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129296. eCollection 2015.


This paper presents the results of a clinical, observational, descriptive study to quantify the use patterns of electronic cigarette users in their natural environment. Previously published work regarding puff topography has been widely indirect in nature, and qualitative rather than quantitative, with the exception of three studies conducted in a laboratory environment for limited amounts of time. The current study quantifies the variation in puffing behaviors among users as well as the variation for a given user throughout the course of a day. Puff topography characteristics computed for each puffing session by each subject include the number of subject puffs per puffing session, the mean puff duration per session, the mean puff flow rate per session, the mean puff volume per session, and the cumulative puff volume per session. The same puff topography characteristics are computed across all puffing sessions by each single subject and across all subjects in the study cohort. Results indicate significant inter-subject variability with regard to puffing topography, suggesting that a range of representative puffing topography patterns should be used to drive machine-puffed electronic cigarette aerosol evaluation systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems* / statistics & numerical data
  • Environment*
  • Humans
  • Public Health Surveillance*
  • Topography, Medical

Grants and funding

This work was funded by an internal grant from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester NY. Additional support was provided by FSI, Inc., Farmington, NY. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. This does not alter the authors' adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.