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Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2016 Aug;233(15-16):2933-41. doi: 10.1007/s00213-016-4338-2. Epub 2016 May 27.

Self-titration by experienced e-cigarette users: blood nicotine delivery and subjective effects.

Author information

1
Division of Psychology, School of Applied Sciences, London South Bank University, 103 Borough Road, London, SE1 0AA, UK. dawkinl3@lsbu.ac.uk.
2
Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Research Group, School of Psychology, University of East London, Water lane, London, E15 4LZ, UK.
3
ABS Laboratories Ltd., Biopark, Broadwater Road, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL7 3AX, UK.
4
Medicines Research Group, School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, University of East London, Water lane, London, E15 4LZ, UK.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

Self-titration is well documented in the tobacco literature. The extent to which e-cigarette users (vapers) self-titrate is unknown.

OBJECTIVE:

This study explored the effects of high and low nicotine strength liquid on puffing topography, nicotine delivery and subjective effects in experienced vapers.

METHODS:

Eleven experienced male vapers completed 60 min of ad libitum vaping under low (6 mg/mL) and high (24 mg/mL) nicotine liquid conditions in two separate sessions. Measurements included puffing topography (puff number, puff duration, volume of liquid consumed) and changes in plasma nicotine levels, craving, withdrawal symptoms, self-reported hit, satisfaction and adverse effects.

RESULTS:

Liquid consumption and puff number were higher and puff duration longer, in the low nicotine strength condition (all ps < 0.01). The mean difference in nicotine boost from baseline in the low condition was 8.59 (7.52) ng/mL, 16.99 (11.72) ng/mL and 22.03 (16.19) ng/mL at 10, 30 and 60 min, respectively. Corresponding values for the high condition were 33.77 (34.88) ng/mL, 35.48 (28.31) ng/mL and 43.57 (34.78) ng/mL (ps < 0.05). There were no statistically significant differences between conditions in self-reported craving, withdrawal symptoms, satisfaction, hit or adverse effects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Vapers engaged in compensatory puffing with lower nicotine strength liquid, doubling their consumption. Whilst compensatory puffing was sufficient to reduce craving and withdrawal discomfort, self-titration was incomplete with significantly higher plasma nicotine levels in the high condition.

KEYWORDS:

Compensation; E-cigarette; Nicotine; Puffing topography; Titration

PMID:
27235016
DOI:
10.1007/s00213-016-4338-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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