Scientists at British American Tobacco and Nicoventures have developed a test to examine vaping behaviour and then used the results to inform their studies on electronic cigarettes.
The results of the study, said to be the largest of its kind, have been published in Scientific Reports DOI: 10.1038/srep35071.
In a press note, BAT said that understanding vaping behaviour allowed scientists to program vaping machines in the laboratory so that they effectively mimicked real world use when a product was being tested. ‘This leads to more accurate machine conditions for e-cigarette testing, which produce more realistic, true to life results,’ it said. ‘These tests help determine the extent to which e-cigarettes emit toxicants in comparison to conventional cigarettes.’
The test used in this study was based on Smoking Analyser (SA7) technology, which was developed initially to measure smokers’ puffing behaviour. This is a small portable device that can measure pressure and flow and provides information such as the size and length of a puff and the time between puffs.
Using a modified version, two types of electronic cigarette were tested: a rechargeable Vype cig-a-like device, and a Vype ePen, which is a larger, enclosed button-activated device.
Sixty current electronic cigarette users participated in the study and attended the testing location on two separate days to use the products provided as they wanted.
“Puffing behaviour was slightly different for the two groups tested,” said Dr James Murphy, head of risk substantiation at BAT. There was variability across populations for each device so the results represent an average of behaviour. Currently, there are no internationally agreed standardised testing protocols that measure the emissions of e-cigarette aerosols in a life-like manner. Understanding how e-cigarette users vape on their products, however, could help to establish the standardised protocols needed.”
BAT said that the test described here formed part of a framework of tests used in the assessment of next generation products (NGPs). These tests were part of a product stewardship process designed to support the safety and quality of NGPs in development.