Changes in puffing topography and subjective effects over a 2-week period in e-cigarette naïve smokers: Effects of device type and nicotine concentrations

Addict Behav. 2021 Jul;118:106909. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2021.106909. Epub 2021 Mar 11.


Introduction: This study aimed to document changes in puffing topography and, the effects of device type and nicotine concentration on puffing topography, subjective effects and smoking behaviour over two weeks of e-cigarette (EC) use.

Methods: EC naïve smokers (N = 50; 64% female) were randomly allocated to a cigalike (18 mg/mL) or tank containing either 18 (Tank18) or 6 mg/mL nicotine concentrations (Tank6). In 3 separate sessions (Baseline, 1 and 2 weeks post-baseline), participants vaped 20 min ad-libitum. Puff duration, puff number, inter-puff intervals (IPI), exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), cigarettes per day (CPD), cigarette dependence, craving, withdrawal, and subjective effects were recorded.

Results: Two weeks post-baseline, puff duration and IPI significantly increased whilst puff number decreased. Cigalikes were associated with greater puff number and shorter IPI compared to Tanks; there was no difference between Tank18 and Tank6. CPD, CO and cigarette dependence reduced significantly from baseline to week1 but did not differ between conditions. During each session, there was a significant reduction in craving, whilst withdrawal symptoms were only alleviated in week1 and 2; there was no difference between conditions. Tank18 consistently rated highest on positive effects including satisfaction; satisfaction scores for Cigalikes and Tank6 declined overtime.

Conclusions: Cigalikes and tanks were both effective for reducing craving, withdrawal symptoms and CPD although for the former, this may only be achieved through more frequent puffing. That the Tank18 yielded greater satisfaction suggests tank devices and higher nicotine concentrations may be more suitable in the early stage of a smoking cessation attempt.

Keywords: Cigalikes; Compensatory puffing; Craving; Device Type; E-cigarettes; Nicotine concentrations; Puffing topography; Satisfaction; Tanks; Withdrawal symptoms.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine
  • Smokers
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Vaping*


  • Nicotine