Critical research gaps in electronic cigarette devices and nicotine aerosols

Int J Pharm. 2021 Jan 25:593:120144. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2020.120144. Epub 2020 Dec 5.


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) are devices that aerosolize nicotine-containing liquids for delivery as an inhaled vapor. E-cigs are currently marketed as smoking cessation devices, though the emergence and rapid adoption of these devices in recent years has sparked a great deal of concern over their safety. Given the plethora of devices and nicotine solutions available on the market and the lack of regulation and quality control, it is imperative that these devices and nicotine formulations are studied to assess critical operating parameters, the pharmacokinetic profiles of the inhaled nicotine, and the toxicity profiles of the e-cig aerosols. This review aims to deliver an overview of current research regarding electronic cigarette devices, nicotine-containing liquid formulations, pharmacokinetics of nicotine, and toxicology studies in order to highlight areas lacking in research or requiring greater standardization and regulation.

Keywords: Device; Electronic cigarette; Nicotine aerosol; Smoking cessation; Vaporizer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Nicotine


  • Aerosols
  • Nicotine