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Indoor vaping: chemical characterization and health impacts

Institution: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Investigator(s): Mohamad Sleiman, Ph.D Hugo Destaillats, Ph.D.
Award Cycle: 2014 (Cycle 23) Grant #: 23XT-0005 Award: $298,823
Subject Area: Environmental Exposure/Toxicology
Award Type: Exploratory/Developmental Award

Initial Award Abstract

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has increased exponentially, particularly among young adults. While the risks and/or benefits associated with e-cigarettes remain uncertain, advertisers convey the message that users have the freedom to use them indoors where the use of combustible cigarettes is restricted.

The present study aims at the characterization of exhaled e-cigarette vapor for a variety of popular e-cigarettes brands and vaporizer tank systems under realistic conditions, and using advanced real-time analytical techniques. We will identify and measure the levels of released chemicals during vaping, and hours after vaping to evaluate the persistence and reactivity of these chemicals and their impact on indoor air quality.

Levels and patterns of exposure to e-cigarette exhaled vapor will be estimated under various scenarios, using simple modeling tools that incorporate key inputs such as concentrations, ventilation rate, vaping frequency and occupancy. Moreover, an initial health impact assessment of secondhand vaping (SHV) will be performed using a metric (Disability-adjusted life years) that is commonly used by the World Health Organization to estimate the global burden of disease.

The primary impact of the proposed research is to generate science-based information regarding the impacts of e-cigarette SHV that can be used for public education as well as policy-making. Outcomes of this study will also be disseminated to the public by developing a science-based fact sheet to better educate Californians on the of composition and health risks of e-cigarettes.