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The effect of flavor content in e-liquids on e-cigarette emissions of carbonyl compounds

Qu, Yao, Kim, Ki-Hyun, Szulejko, Jan E.
Environmental research 2018 v.166 pp. 324-333
acetone, beverages, breathing, carbonyl compounds, desserts, electric power, electronic equipment, emissions, emissions factor, flavor, flavor compounds, formaldehyde, fruits, glycerol, ingredients, mint, neoplasms, propylene glycol, risk, tobacco, vegetables
The effect of flavors on carbonyl compound (CC) emission factors (EF) from electronic cigarettes (ECs) vaping was investigated at the default vaping (voltage) setting in all experiments using a total of 21 lab-made e-liquid samples (five different types of retail flavorant bases: beverage/dessert/fruit/mint/tobacco). Each flavorant base was added to a separate unflavored base composed of a 1:1 mixture of propylene glycol/vegetable glycerol (PG/VG) at four levels (5/10/30/50% (v/v)). The e-liquid CC levels increased linearly with flavorant base content, 1.3–10.5 times (R2: 0.762–0.999). The vaping CC EFs increased linearly with flavorant base content (if ≥ 10%) from 1.0 to 92 times (R2: 0.431–0.998). For flavorant base content of 0%, 5%, and 10%, the EFs ranged from undetected to 0.11 μg puff−1 (acetone). The 40-year cancer risk due to formaldehyde (70 kg EC user inhaling 5% flavorant base content e-liquid: 120 puffs day−1) is estimated to be 2.0E-06 (highest) compared to 1.0E-06 for the 1:1 PG:VG base. Most formaldehyde vaped from the fruit flavored e-liquid was the flavorant base. The CC concentrations in EC liquids (before vaping) were approximately linear with e-liquid flavorant base content. Retail e-liquid product information labels should be guided to provide a complete list of all ingredients, their concentrations, and carbonyl compound EFs.