Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2018 May 2;13(5):e0196640.
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196640. eCollection 2018.

Effect of E-Liquid Flavor on Electronic Cigarette Topography and Consumption Behavior in a 2-week Natural Environment Switching Study

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Effect of E-Liquid Flavor on Electronic Cigarette Topography and Consumption Behavior in a 2-week Natural Environment Switching Study

R J Robinson et al. PLoS One. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) offer an alternate means to consume nicotine in a variety of flavored aerosols. Data are needed to better understand the impact of flavors on use behavior. A natural environment observational study was conducted on experienced ENDS users to measure the effect of e-liquid flavor on topography and consumption behavior. The RIT wPUMTM monitor was used to record to record the date and time and puff topography (flow rate, volume, duration) for every puff taken by N = 34 participants over the course of two weeks. All participants used tobacco flavor for one week, and either berry or menthol flavor for one week. Results provide strong evidence that flavor affects the topography behaviors of mean puff flow rate and mean puff volume, and there is insufficient evidence to support an influence of flavor on mean puff duration and mean puff interval. There was insufficient evidence, due to the low power associated with the limited number of observation days, to establish a relationship between flavor and cumulative consumption behavior. While the results indicate that an effect may be evident, additional observation days are required to establish significance.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: Affiliation of the authors with the funding sponsors does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.” (as detailed online in our guide for authors, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/competing-interests).

Figures

Fig 1
Fig 1. Exemplar wPUMTM monitor calibration data obtained from the PESTM-1 calibration system.
Shown are the pre-deployment week-1 (20160720), mid-week-1 (20160725), pre-deployment week-2 (20160727), and mid-week-2 (20160801) calibration results for wPUMTM monitor 3 used by participant 3. These calibration data document wPUMTM monitor-specific performance and the potential impact of monitor contamination during natural use monitoring. Effects are mitigated by pre- and post- calibration protocols and TAPTM program signal processing algorithms. Underlying data is available in S1, S2, S3, S4 Datasets.
Fig 2
Fig 2. Exemplar topography and consumption behavior for a single vaping session.
Shown is an example resulting from phase 1 of the analysis. The TAPTM program converts raw noisy monitoring data (top panel) into discrete identifiable puffs with known flow rate (middle panel). Cumulative session volume (bottom panel) is determined by summing the individual puff volumes. Phase 1 results in session topography with puffs of known duration, mean flow rate, puff volume and inter-puff interval. Underlying data is available in S5 Dataset.
Fig 3
Fig 3. Cohort study flow chart.
N = 293 initial responses were received, N = 40 respondents were found eligible and N = 34 participants were enrolled. Data from all enrolled participants were included in the data analysis and are presented in this paper.
Fig 4
Fig 4. Descriptive cohort statistics for topography behavior.
Shown are the histograms illustrating the range of topography behavior characteristics associated with participants assigned to each flavor. The tobacco flavor was used by all 34 subjects for one week, while N = 17 used menthol and N = 17 used berry during the alternate week. Switching order was balanced and randomized.
Fig 5
Fig 5. Descriptive cohort statistics for consumption behavior.
Shown are the histograms illustrating the range of topography behavior characteristics associated with participants assigned to each flavor. The tobacco flavor was used by all 34 subjects for one week, while N = 17 used menthol and N = 17 used berry for the other week. Switching order as balanced and randomized.
Fig 6
Fig 6. Effect of flavor assignment on mean flow rate.
Shown are within-subjects pairwise comparison between flavor for each participant. The left column shows results for participants who were assigned T the first week, and the right column shows results for participants who were assigned T the second week. The top row shows particpants who switched between tobacco and menthol and the bottom row shows participants who switched between tobacco and berry. The mean and 95% CI are computed across all puffs taken by each participant during the 6 day observation period. The flavor for each data set is indicated by a T, M or B at the top of the plot for each participant’s flavor where T = Tobacco, M = Menthol, and B = Berry. Underlying data is available in S6, S7, S8, S9 Datasets.
Fig 7
Fig 7. Effect of flavor assignment on mean puff duratio.
Shown are within-subjects pairwise comparison between flavor for each participant. The left column shows results for participants who were assigned T the first week, and the right column shows results for participants who were assigned T the second week. The top row shows particpants who switched between tobacco and menthol and the bottom row shows participants who switched between tobacco and berry. The mean and 95% CI are computed across all puffs taken by each participant during the 6 day observation period. The flavor for each data set is indicated by a T, M or B at the top of the plot for each participant’s flavor where T = Tobacco, M = Menthol, and B = Berry. Underlying data is available in S10, S11, S12, S13 Datasets.
Fig 8
Fig 8. Effect of flavor assignment on mean puff volume.
Shown are within-subjects pairwise comparison between flavor for each participant. The left column shows results for participants who were assigned T the first week, and the right column shows results for participants who were assigned T the second week. The top row shows particpants who switched between tobacco and menthol and the bottom row shows participants who switched between tobacco and berry. The mean and 95% CI are computed across all puffs taken by each participant during the 6 day observation period. The flavor for each data set is indicated by a T, M or B at the top of the plot for each participant’s flavor where T = Tobacco, M = Menthol, and B = Berry. Underlying data is available in S14, S15, S16, S17 Datasets.
Fig 9
Fig 9. Effect of flavor assignment on average cumulative daily volume.
Shown are within-subjects pairwise comparison between flavor for each participant. The left column shows results for participants who were assigned T the first week, and the right column shows results for participants who were assigned T the second week. The top row shows participants who switched between tobacco and menthol and the bottom row shows participants who switched between tobacco and berry. The mean (circle) and 95% CI are computed as the daily average of all days having at least one puffing session during the 6 day observation period. The mean (X) is computed as the cumulative volume divided by 6 days. When the means overlap, the participant exhibited puffing behavior on every day. The flavor for each data set is indicated by a T, M or B at the top of the plot for each participant’s flavor where T = Tobacco, M = Menthol, and B = Berry. Underlying data is available in S18, S19, S20, S21 Datasets.
Fig 10
Fig 10. Effect of flavor assignment on average daily puff count.
Shown are within-subjects pairwise comparison between flavor for each participant. The left column shows results for participants who were assigned T the first week, and the right column shows results for participants who were assigned T the second week. The top row shows participants who switched between tobacco and menthol and the bottom row shows participants who switched between tobacco and berry. The mean (circle) and 95% CI are computed as the daily average of all days having at least one puffing session during the 6 day observation period. The mean (X) is computed as the cumulative puff count divided by 6 days. When the means overlap, the participant exhibited puffing behavior on every day. The flavor for each data set is indicated by a T, M or B at the top of the plot for each participant’s flavor where T = Tobacco, M = Menthol, and B = Berry. Underlying data is available in S22, S23, S24, S25 Datasets.
Fig 11
Fig 11. Interval plots for mean puff flow rate for different length monitoring periods.
Shown are means and 95% CI for participant 14 from the two-week flavor switching study calculated based on 1 session, 1 day and 1 week of data. Results show that using a monitoring period of less than 1 week would have resulted in a type II error. Underlying data is available in S26 Dataset.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 3 articles

References

    1. Food and Drug Administration UDoHaHS. Family Smoking and Tobacco Control Act http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/ucm237092.htm2009.
    1. Food and Drug Administration UDoHaHS. Deeming Tobacco Products to be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. http://www.fda.gov/tobaccoproducts/labeling/rulesregulationsguidance/ucm394909.htm2016. - PubMed
    1. Food and Drug Administration UDoHaHS. Deeming Tobacco Products to Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; Restrictions on the Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Required Warning Statements for Tobacco Products https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/2016-10658/deeming-tobacco-produicts-to-be-subject-to-the-federal-food-drug-and-cosmetic-act-as-amended-by-the2016. - PubMed
    1. Herning RI, Jones RT, Benowitz NL, Mines AH. How a cigarette is smoked determines blood nicotine levels. Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1983;33:84–90. doi: 0009-9236(83)90568-4 [pii]. . - PubMed
    1. Herning RI, Jones RT, Bachman J, Mines AH. Puff volume increases when low-nicotine cigarettes are smoked. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed). 1981;283(6285):187–9. ; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC1506678. - PMC - PubMed

Publication types

Substances

Grant support

This work was supported by Rochester Institute of Technology Kate Gleason College of Engineering faculty research funds, and RTI International institutional research and development funds. The funder provided support in the form of salaries for authors [RJR ECH AAA YOL JMN], but did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The specific roles of these authors are articulated in the ‘author contributions’ section.
Feedback