Mrs Catherine Kimber

Effects of device type and nicotine concentrations on e-cigarette naïve smokers’ puffing topography in a two-week smoking reduction attempt

Aims:  To measure changes in e-cigarette- (EC) naïve smokers ‘ puffing topography over 2 weeks, comparing cigalikes (CL) vs. tanks (TM), low vs. high nicotine concentrations.

Design: Between-within-participants design.  Participants, Settings and Measurements: 70 EC-naïve smokers at the University of East London, were randomly allocated to 1 of 3 conditions, CL (18mg/mL), TM-high (18mg/mL) or TM-low (6mg/mL).  In 3 lab sessions, they used the EC ad lib for 20 min, at baseline, 1 week (Time 1) and 2 weeks later (Time 2).  Puff duration and number, Interpuff-intervals (IPI), exhaled carbon monoxide (CO), cigarettes smoked per day (CPD), cigarette dependence, craving and withdrawal, and, satisfaction were assessed.

Findings:  CPD, CO and nicotine dependence reduced significantly over time, but did not differ between conditions. Puff duration increased significantly between Baseline and Time 2, whilst puff numbers and IPI decreased. CL were associated with longer puff duration, shorter IPI and greater number of puffs; whilst TM-high led to longer IPI and shorter puff duration.  The TM-high and CL were more efficient in reducing craving compared to the TM-low. TMs were rated as more satisfying at baseline and Time 1 compared with the CL.

Conclusions: ECs helped reduce tobacco smoking in the initial weeks of a quit attempt.  Smokers increased their puff duration over time. Whilst higher nicotine concentrations were more effective in reducing craving, TMs were associated with higher satisfaction.  The more intense puffing associated with the CL suggests nicotine delivery as a primary determinant of puffing topography.


Dr Kirstie Soar2, Professor Olivia Corcoran3, Dr Lynne E Dawkins1 1 Centre for Addictive Behaviour Research, School of Applied Sciences, 103 Borough Road, London South Bank University, London, SE1 0AA, UK | Tel: +44 (0) 207 815 5447 | Email: 2 Drugs and Addictive Behaviours Research Group, School of Psychology, University of East London, Water lane, E15 4LZ, UK 3 Medicines Research Group, School of Health, Sport and Bioscience, University of East London, Water lane, E15 4LZ, UK

Conflicts of interest:

The lead author, CK has no conflict of interest to declare.
KS and OC have no conflict of interest to declare.
LD has provided consultancy for the pharmaceutical industry (2015, 2017) and acted as an expert witness for an e-cigarette patent infringement case (2015).

Between 2011 and 2013 she conducted research for several independent electronic cigarette companies for which the University of East London received funds.

The e-cigarette companies involved had no input into the design, conduct or write up of these projects.