Electronic cigarettes: overview of chemical composition and exposure estimation
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Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Sigmaringen, Sigmaringen, Germany
Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany
Institute of Chemistry, Saratov State University, Saratov, Russia
Bruker Biospin GmbH, Silberstreifen, Rheinstetten, Germany
Submission date: 2014-05-23
Acceptance date: 2014-11-13
Publication date: 2014-12-09
Corresponding author
Dirk W Lachenmeier   

Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Karlsruhe, Weissenburger Strasse 3, 76187 Karlsruhe, Germany
Tobacco Induced Diseases 2014;12(December):23
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are advertised to tobacco users as a tool to decrease cigarette consumption and to reduce toxic exposure associated with conventional tobacco smoking. Little is known about the compounds contained in such products, their exposure and long-term health effects.

NMR spectroscopy was used to ascertain the content of several constituents of e-cigarette liquids including nicotine, solvents and some bioactive flavour compounds. Risk assessment was based on probabilistic exposure estimation and comparison with toxicological thresholds using the margin of exposure (MOE) approach.

In 54 samples of e-cigarette liquids, the average nicotine content was 11 mg/ml. Only 18 from 23 samples were confirmed as nicotine-free samples and in one e-cigarette liquid nicotine was not detected while being declared on the labelling. Major compounds of e-cigarette liquids include glycerol (average 37 g/100 g), propylene glycol (average 57 g/100 g) and ethylene glycol (average 10 g/100 g). Furthermore, 1,3-propanediol, thujone and ethyl vanillin were detected in some samples. The average exposure for daily users was estimated as 0.38 mg/kg bw/day for nicotine, 8.9 mg/kg bw/day for glycerol, 14.5 mg/kg bw/day for 1,2-propanediol, 2.1 mg/kg bw/day for ethylene glycol, and below 0.2 mg/kg bw/day for the other compounds. The MOE was below 0.1 for nicotine, but all other compounds did not reach MOE values below 100 except ethylene glycol and 1,2-propanediol.

NMR spectroscopy is a useful and rapid method to simultaneously detect several ingredients in e-cigarette liquids. From all compounds tested, only nicotine may reach exposures that fall into a high risk category with MOE <1. Therefore, e-cigarette liquid products should be subjected to regulatory control to ensure consistent nicotine delivery. Solvents with more favourable toxicological profiles should be used instead of ethylene glycol and 1,2-propanediol, which may fall into a risk category with MOE < 100.

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Isaac Armendáriz-Castillo, Santiago Guerrero, Antonella Vera-Guapi, Tiffany Cevallos-Vilatuña, Jennyfer García-Cárdenas, Patricia Guevara-Ramírez, Andrés López-Cortés, Andy Pérez-Villa, Verónica Yumiceba, Ana Zambrano, Paola Leone, César Paz-y-Miño
BioMed Research International
Review of Health Consequences of Electronic Cigarettes and the Outbreak of Electronic Cigarette, or Vaping, Product Use-Associated Lung Injury
Dazhe Cao, Kim Aldy, Stephanie Hsu, Molly McGetrick, Guido Verbeck, Silva De, Sing-yi Feng
Journal of Medical Toxicology
The effect of smoking on stem cell mobilization in allogeneic donors
Journal of Health Sciences and Medicine
Inhalation Toxicology of Vaping Products and Implications for Pulmonary Health
Hussein Traboulsi, Mathew Cherian, Rjeili Abou, Matthew Preteroti, Jean Bourbeau, Benjamin Smith, David Eidelman, Carolyn Baglole
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Electronic Cigarette Use and Blood Pressure Endpoints: a Systematic Review
Irene Martinez-Morata, Tiffany Sanchez, Daichi Shimbo, Ana Navas-Acien
Current Hypertension Reports
Electronic cigarette exposure on insulin sensitivity of ApoE gene knockout mice
Kai Lan+, Guangwei Zhang+, Lijuan Liu, Ziwei Guo, Xianyu Luo, Hua Guan, Qi Yu, Enqi Liu
Tobacco Induced Diseases
Electronic cigarette extract induced toxic effect in iPS-derived cardiomyocytes
Hesham Basma, Swetha Tatineni, Kajari Dhar, Fang Qiu, Stephen Rennard, Brian Lowes
BMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Environmental mechanisms of orofacial clefts
Michael Garland, Kurt Reynolds, Chengji Zhou
Birth Defects Research
Cancer potencies and margin of exposure used for comparative risk assessment of heated tobacco products and electronic cigarettes aerosols with cigarette smoke
Gregory Rodrigo, Guy Jaccard, Djoko Tafin, Alexandra Korneliou, Marco Esposito, Maxim Belushkin
Archives of Toxicology
A review of constituents identified in e-cigarette liquids and aerosols
Emily Eshraghian, Wael Al-Delaimy
Tobacco Prevention & Cessation
Comprehensive overview of common e-liquid ingredients and how they can be used to predict an e-liquid’s flavour category
Erna Krüsemann, Anne Havermans, Jeroen Pennings, Graaf de, Sanne Boesveldt, Reinskje Talhout
Tobacco Control
Critical research gaps in electronic cigarette devices and nicotine aerosols
Jamie Spahn, Salomon Stavchansky, Zhengrong Cui
International Journal of Pharmaceutics
Reactive Oxygen Species, Mitochondrial Membrane Potential, and Cellular Membrane Potential Are Predictors of E-Liquid Induced Cellular Toxicity
Eva Correia-Álvarez, James Keating, Gary Glish, Robert Tarran, M Sassano
Nicotine & Tobacco Research
Effect of E-Cigarette aerosol exposure on airway inflammation in a murine model of asthma
Huda Taha, Nour Al-Sawalha, Karem Alzoubi, Omar Khabour
Inhalation Toxicology
E-Cigarette Flavoring Chemicals Induce Cytotoxicity in HepG2 Cells
Brittany Rickard, Henry Ho, Jacqueline Tiley, Ilona Jaspers, Kim Brouwer
ACS Omega
An updated overview of e-cigarette impact on human health
Patrice Marques, Laura Piqueras, Maria-Jesus Sanz
Respiratory Research
Fundamentals of Craniofacial Malformations
Michael Garland, Kurt Reynolds, Shuwen Zhang, Bo Sun, Frates De, Chengji Zhou
Toxicological assessment of electronic cigarette vaping: an emerging threat to force health, readiness and resilience in the U.S. Army
Marc Williams, Gunda Reddy, Michael Quinn, Bell Millikan
Drug and Chemical Toxicology
In vitro determinants of e-cig aerosol condensate bioavailability and toxicity: Influence of cell culture parameters and utility of a normalized dose metric in e-cigarette studies
Udochukwu Obodo, Timothy O’Connor
Electronic cigarettes: Genetic and epigenetic impact (Review)
Nicolás Niederbacher, Litzy Bermudez, Daniel González, Camila Bernal, Francisco García, Daniel León, Maria Pinzón, Carlos Camero, Ithzayana Madariaga, Paula Sánchez, Andrea Rodríguez, Salime Hurtado, Catherine Tovar, Santiago Rodríguez‑Ariza, Rafael Castro, Mariana Guerra, Alejandra Cañas, Adriana Rojas
International Journal of Epigenetics
Non-Targeted Analysis Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry for Evaluation of Chemical Composition of E-Vapor Products
Niti Shah, Michael Noe, Kimberly Agnew-Heard, Yezdi Pithawalla, William Gardner, Saibal Chakraborty, Nicholas McCutcheon, Hannah Grisevich, Thomas Hurst, Michael Morton, Matt Melvin, IV Miller
Frontiers in Chemistry
Assessment of knowledge of use of electronic cigarette and its harmful effects among young adults
Vidushi Gupta, Madhu Sharma, Natarajan Srikant, Nidhi Manaktala
Open Medicine
E-Cigarette Toxicology
Terry Gordon, Emma Karey, Meghan Rebuli, Yael-Natalie Escobar, Ilona Jaspers, Lung Chen
Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Loose ENDs: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and the FDA’s Recent Enforcement Policy
Saira Ahmad, Flori Sassano, Robert Tarran
EMJ Respiratory
E-cigarette vapour from base components propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine inhibits the inflammatory response in macrophages and epithelial cells
Rachael Bell, Danny McAuley, Murali Shyamsundar, Cecila O’Kane, Yvonne Dombrowski
E-cigarette Product Characteristics and Subsequent Frequency of Cigarette Smoking
Jessica Barrington-Trimis, Zhi Yang, Sara Schiff, Jennifer Unger, Tess Cruz, Robert Urman, Junhan Cho, Jonathan Samet, Adam Leventhal, Kiros Berhane, Rob McConnell
Impact of E-cig aerosol vaping on fetal and neonatal respiratory development and function
Translational Research
Development of LC-HRMS untargeted analysis methods for nasal epithelial lining fluid exposomics
Yun-Chung Hsiao, Chih-Wei Liu, Carole Robinette, Noelle Knight, Kun Lu, Meghan Rebuli
Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology
Dirk Lachenmeier
Electronic cigarettes (vapes) are an old threat to health in a new guise
Marina Galitskaya, Andrey Fisenko, Svetlana Makarova
Russian Pediatric Journal
How Electronic Cigarette Affects the Vascular System
Vito Damay, Setiawan Setiawan, Ronny Lesmana, Mohammad Akbar, Antonia Lukito, Renee Bittoun
Journal of Smoking Cessation
Formaldehyde in Electronic Cigarette Liquid (Aerosolized Liquid)
Jenna Ruggiero, Lindsey Voller, Javed Shaik, Sara Hylwa
E-cigarette smoking vape impact on optical properties of porcine gingival mucosa measured ex vivo in the range from 200 to 800 nm
Alexey Selifonov, Ekaterina Selifonova, Valery Tuchin, Elina Genina, Valery Tuchin
Optical Technologies for Biology and Medicine
In Memoriam: Dr.-Ing. Walter Lachenmeier (1945–2022)—Reflections on a Life between Research Funding Administration, Electric Vehicle Development and Technology Transfer
Dirk Lachenmeier
World Electric Vehicle Journal
Evaluation of hazards of electronic -cigarette’s liquid refill on testes of mice, complemented by histopathological and chromatographic analysis
Raghda Elsherif, Nora Abdellah, Ola Hussein, Eman Shaltout
Ultrastructural Pathology
Comparative study of lung toxicity of E-cigarette ingredients to investigate E-cigarette or vaping product associated lung injury
Sung-Hoon Yoon, Mi-Kyung Song, Dong Kim, Jeom-Kyu Lee, Ji-Won Jung, Joong Lee, Kyuhong Lee
Journal of Hazardous Materials
Elektrische Zigaretten – Stand der Forschung aus gefäßmedizinischer Sicht
Sönke Braß, Markus Wagenhäuser, Florian Simon, Hubert Schelzig, Joscha Mulorz
The relationship between the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and effects on pulmonary immune responses—a literature review
Seok Han, Fenna Sillé, Jana Mihalic, Ana Rule
Environmental Research
Impact of e-cigarette vaping aerosol exposure in pregnancy on mTOR signaling in rat fetal hippocampus
Jehoon Lee, Marcus Orzabal, Vishal Naik, Jayanth Ramadoss
Frontiers in Neuroscience
Quantitation and Stability of Nicotine in Canadian Vaping Liquids
Ivana Kosarac, Guru Katuri, Cariton Kubwabo, Shabana Siddique, Trevor Mischki
Comprehensive characterization of volatile and semi-volatile compounds in e-liquids for electronic cigarette using gas chromatography accurate mass spectrometry
M. Golpe, M. Ramil, I. Rodríguez
Journal of Chromatography A
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) aerosol constituent deposition and nicotine retention in the human oral cavity
Bahman Asgharian, Owen Price, Amy Creel, Gladys Erives, Jonathan Fallica, Cissy Li, Nashaat Rasheed, Scott Wasdo, Raymond Yeager, Susan Chemerynski, Jeffry Schroeter
Journal of Aerosol Science
Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS): A convenient means of smoking?
Mariaelvina SALA, Cecilia GOTTI
Pharmacological Research
Beyond the label: current evidence and future directions for the interrelationship between electronic cigarettes and mental health
Malia Bautista, Allison Mogul, Christie Fowler
Frontiers in Psychiatry
Dirk Lachenmeier
Impact of Vaping on Lungs: An Indian Prospect
Karan Sharma, Roshan Jha
Chemical sensors for imaging total cellular aliphatic aldehydes in live cells
Rachel Wills, Jonathan Farhi, Patrick Czabala, Sophia Shahin, Spangle M., Monika Raj
Chemical Science
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