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Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 Feb 1;159:272-6. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.011. Epub 2015 Dec 24.

The effects of alcohol-containing e-cigarettes on young adult smokers.

Author information

1
Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, New Haven, CT, United States; VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, United States. Electronic address: gerald.valentine@yale.edu.
2
Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States.
3
Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, New Haven, CT, United States.
4
Yale University School of Public Health, Department of Biostatistics, New Haven, CT, United States.
5
Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry, New Haven, CT, United States; VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, United States.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The liquids (e-liquids) used in an electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) contain myriad chemicals without adequate human inhalation safety data. Furthermore, the absence of e-liquid labeling requirements poses a formidable challenge to understanding how e-liquid constituents may promote nicotine addiction and/or have independent or synergistic biological effects when combined with nicotine. Ethyl alcohol is such a constituent, but has received little scientific interest in this context.

METHODS:

Using a randomized, double blind, crossover design, acute changes in subjective drug effects, motor performance and biochemical measures of alcohol and nicotine intake were evaluated after directed and ad lib puffing from two commercially available e-liquids containing nicotine (8 mg/ml), vanilla flavor and either 23.5% (high) or 0.4% (trace) alcohol.

RESULTS:

While no differences in subjective drug effects were observed between alcohol conditions, performance on the Purdue Pegboard Dexterity Test (PPDT) improved under the trace, but not under the 23.5% alcohol condition. Although plasma alcohol levels remained undetectable during testing, urine ethyl glucuronide (EtG), an alcohol metabolite, became measurable in three participants after puffing from the 23.5% alcohol e-cigarette.

CONCLUSIONS:

Brief use of a widely available type of e-cigarette containing an e-liquid purchased from an internet vendor can negatively impact psychomotor performance and in some instances, produce detectable levels of a urine alcohol metabolite. Given the widespread and unregulated use of e-cigarettes, especially by youth and other vulnerable populations, further studies are needed to evaluate both the acute safety and long-term health risks of using alcohol-containing e-cigarettes.

KEYWORDS:

Alcohol; Alcohol inhalation; Nicotine; Vaping; e-Cigarettes; e-Liquid

PMID:
26778759
PMCID:
PMC5171208
DOI:
10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.12.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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