Comprehensive Chemical Characterization of the Aerosol Emissions of a Vaping Product Based on a New Technology

Chem Res Toxicol. 2020 Mar 16;33(3):789-799. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.9b00442. Epub 2020 Mar 3.


Around 10 million people in the United States and 3 million people in the United Kingdom are estimated to use vaping category products. There are some estimates that there will be 75-80 million vapers worldwide by 2020. Most of these products are based on coil-and-wick technology. Because the heating and aerosol formation are separate processes, the system can lead to dry-wicking and elevated emission of carbonyls if designed and/or manufactured poorly. Low-nicotine and low-power coil-and-wick devices have also been linked to increased exposure to formaldehyde due to compensatory behavior by users. We characterized the emissions of a vaping product which uses a fabric-free stainless-steel mesh distiller plate technology that heats and aerosolizes the e-liquid in a single process. The plate has a microporous structure for capillary-induced liquid transformation (wicking) and aerosolization that is optimized to avoid fluid starvation and overheating and improved control. Compared with emissions previously reported for a coil-and-wick nicotine vaping product (e-cigarette), most classes of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) from this vaping product were below the level of detection or quantification. For those that were quantifiable, this vaping product generally had lower levels of emissions than the e-cigarette, including carbonyls. Formaldehyde and methyl glyoxal levels did not differ significantly between vaping products. In this system, the single mode of liquid transfer and vapor formation permits high aerosol mass delivery but further reduces emissions of HPHCs that may be present in conventional e-cigarette aerosol, by lessening the risk of thermal breakdown of the aerosol-generating solvent mixture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / chemistry
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Tobacco Products / analysis*
  • Vaping*


  • Aerosols