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QJM. 2018 Jan 1;111(1):9-14. doi: 10.1093/qjmed/hcx178.

A cloud on the horizon-a survey into the use of electronic vaping devices for recreational drug and new psychoactive substance (NPS) administration.

Author information

1
Emergency Department, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust and King's Health Partners, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK.
2
Clinical Toxicology, 3rd Floor, Block C, South Wing, St. Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7EH, UK.
3
Division of Health and Social Care Research, King's College London, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT, UK.

Abstract

Background:

There is limited published scientific data on vaping recreational drugs other than cannabis. A recent review suggested that 15% of people vaping cannabis have also vaped a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist (SCRA) and identified over 300 Internet reports of e-liquid manufacture of recreational drugs and/or new psychoactive substances (NPS).

Aim:

To determine the prevalence of use of electronic vaping devices for recreational drug and NPS delivery in the UK.

Design:

A voluntary online survey using a convenience sample of UK adult participants (aged 16 years old and over) identified by a market research company.

Methods:

Data was collected regarding demographics, smoking history, electronic vaping device history and recreational drug/NPS use and route of administration.

Results:

There were 2501 respondents. The mean (±SD) age was 46.2 ± 16.8 years old. The commonest lifetime recreational drug used was Cannabis (818, 32.7%). The majority of respondents had smoked (1545, 61.8%) with 731 (29.2%) being current smokers. The most commonly used SCRA product was 'Spice Gold' (173, 6.9%) and SCRA compound was ADB-CHMICA (48, 1.9%). 861 (34.4%) had used an electronic vaping device; 340 (13.6%) having used them for recreational drug administration; 236 (9.4%) reporting current use. The commonest lifetime recreational drug to be vaped was cannabis (155, 65.7%), with electronic cigarettes (230, 48.2%) being the commonest reported route of SCRA compound administration.

Conclusion:

9.4% of respondents currently use electronic vaping devices for recreational drug administration with 6.2% reporting lifetime cannabis vaping use. Further larger scale studies are required to help inform the appropriate treatment and primary prevention strategies.

PMID:
29025078
DOI:
10.1093/qjmed/hcx178
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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