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Effect of Electronic Cigarette User Modifications and E-liquid Adulteration on the Particle Size Profile of an Aerosolized Product

NCJ Number
Scientific Reports Volume: 9 Dated: 2019 Pages: Article Number 10221
Date Published
July 2019
23 pages
This study's goal was to determine the effect of various e-cigarette and e-liquid modifications - such as coil resistance, battery voltage, and glycol and drug formulation - on the aerosol particle size.

Particle size is a critical factor, because e-liquids and e-cigarette settings that produce ultra-fine particles (less than 0.3 mm) can be aerosolized and reach the pulmonary alveolar regions; this gives them potential for abuse and risk of overdose for drugs other than nicotine (DOTNs) used in e-cigarettes. E-liquids that contained 12 mg/mL nicotine prepared in glycol compositions of 100-percent propylene glycol (PG), 100-percent vegetable glycerin (VG), or 50:50 PG:VG were aerosolized at three voltages and three coil resistances. Methamphetmine and Methadone e-liquids were prepared at 60 mg/mL in 50:50 PG:VG, and all e-liquids were prepared at 60 mg/mL in PG:VG, and all e-liquids were aerosolized onto a 10 stage Micro-Orifice Uniform Deposit Impact. The study determined that the particle size stage for 0.172-0.1 mm was greater for methamphetamine and methadone than nicotine. The small particle sizes combined with the user's modulation of glycol composition and inhalation techniques (inhale and hold) can improve the bioavailability of methadone and methamphetamine in e-cigarette systems, thereby increasing the potential for overdose. 3 figures and 40 references

Date Published: July 1, 2019