The recent growth in e-cigarette use has presented many challenges to Public Health research, including understanding the potential for e-cigarettes to generate toxic aerosol constituents during use. Recent research has established that the way e-cigarettes are puffed influences the magnitude of emissions from these devices, with puff duration the dominant driving force. Standardised puffing machine methods are being developed to harmonise testing approaches across laboratories, but critical to their success is the degree with which they accurately reflect vapers real-world puffing behaviours (topography). Relatively limited data is available examining the way vapers puff, with significant inconsistencies between studies. Here we report the creation and analysis of a large database of public-domain vaping videos to establish e-cigarettes puffing behaviour in near natural settings. Over 300 videos containing 1200 puffing events from 252 vapers were obtained from social media sources, divided approximately equally amongst cigalike, Ego and Advanced Personal Vapouriser ("APV", also referred to as "boxmod") types of e-cigarettes. Analysis showed that similar mean puff durations were found for all three categories of vaping devices. This includes direct-to-lung as well as mouth-to-lung puffing behaviours. A 3 s puff duration, as used in the recently published ISO puffing standard ISO 20,768:2018, appears appropriate for average behaviours. However, the wide diversity of puffing durations observed amongst vapers means it may be challenging to identify a simple yet comprehensively representative machine-puffing regimen for laboratory studies. A puff duration of around 5.6 s appears to represent 95th percentile puffing behaviours amongst vapers and may be an appropriate choice for scientists and regulators seeking a more intense puffing regime. A range of new behavioural patterns have been identified whose impact on aerosol exposure need to be considered. Public-domain video records of vapers provides valuable and accessible insights into real-world use behaviours. It is freely available, and constantly updated with new material, and therefore provides a valuable resource for scientists seeking to understand real-world vaping behaviours.
K. McAdam, A. Warrington, Alice Hughes
Regulatory toxicology and pharmacology : RTP