SciCombinator

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Concept: Propylene glycol

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The reasons for using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are poorly understood and are primarily documented by expensive cross-sectional surveys that use preconceived close-ended response options rather than allowing respondents to use their own words. We passively identify the reasons for using ENDS longitudinally from a content analysis of public postings on Twitter. All English language public tweets including several ENDS terms (e.g., “e-cigarette” or “vape”) were captured from the Twitter data stream during 2012 and 2015. After excluding spam, advertisements, and retweets, posts indicating a rationale for vaping were retained. The specific reasons for vaping were then inferred based on a supervised content analysis using annotators from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. During 2012 quitting combustibles was the most cited reason for using ENDS with 43% (95%CI 39-48) of all reason-related tweets cited quitting combustibles, e.g., “I couldn’t quit till I tried ecigs,” eclipsing the second most cited reason by more than double. Other frequently cited reasons in 2012 included ENDS’s social image (21%; 95%CI 18-25), use indoors (14%; 95%CI 11-17), flavors (14%; 95%CI 11-17), safety relative to combustibles (9%; 95%CI 7-11), cost (3%; 95%CI 2-5) and favorable odor (2%; 95%CI 1-3). By 2015 the reasons for using ENDS cited on Twitter had shifted. Both quitting combustibles and use indoors significantly declined in mentions to 29% (95%CI 24-33) and 12% (95%CI 9-16), respectively. At the same time, social image increased to 37% (95%CI 32-43) and lack of odor increased to 5% (95%CI 2-5), the former leading all cited reasons in 2015. Our data suggest the reasons people vape are shifting away from cessation and toward social image. The data also show how the ENDS market is responsive to a changing policy landscape. For instance, smoking indoors was less frequently cited in 2015 as indoor smoking restrictions became more common. Because the data and analytic approach are scalable, adoption of our strategies in the field can inform follow-up survey-based surveillance (so the right questions are asked), interventions, and policies for ENDS.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Cigarettes, Amazon Mechanical Turk

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A method for the rapid analysis of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in smoke from tobacco and electronic cigarettes and in exhaled breath of users of these smoking systems has been developed. Both disposable and rechargeable e-cigarettes were considered. Smoke or breath were collected in Bio-VOCs. VOCs were then desorbed in Tenax cartridges which were subsequently analyzed by thermal desorption coupled to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The method provides consistent results when comparing the VOC compositions from cigarette smoke and the equivalent exhaled breath of the smokers. The differences in composition of these two sample types are useful to ascertain which compounds are retained in the respiratory system after tobacco cigarette or e-cigarette smoking. Strong differences were observed in the VOC composition of tobacco cigarette smoke and exhaled breath when comparing with those of e-cigarette smoking. The former involved transfers of a much larger burden of organic compounds into smokers, including benzene, toluene, naphthalene and other pollutants of general concern. e-Cigarettes led to strong absorptions of propylene glycol and glycerin in the users of these systems. Tobacco cigarettes were also those showing highest concentration differences between nicotine concentrations in smoke and exhaled breath. The results from disposable e-cigarettes were very similar to those from rechargeable e-cigarettes.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Glycerol

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There is interest in the relative toxicities of emissions from electronic cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes. Lists of cigarette smoke priority toxicants have been developed to focus regulatory initiatives. However, a comprehensive assessment of e-cigarette chemical emissions including all tobacco smoke Harmful and Potentially Harmful Constituents, and additional toxic species reportedly present in e-cigarette emissions, is lacking. We examined 150 chemical emissions from an e-cigarette (Vype ePen), a reference tobacco cigarette (Ky3R4F), and laboratory air/method blanks. All measurements were conducted by a contract research laboratory using ISO 17025 accredited methods. The data show that it is essential to conduct laboratory air/method measurements when measuring e-cigarette emissions, owing to the combination of low emissions and the associated impact of laboratory background that can lead to false-positive results and overestimates. Of the 150 measurands examined in the e-cigarette aerosol, 104 were not detected and 21 were present due to laboratory background. Of the 25 detected aerosol constituents, 9 were present at levels too low to be quantified and 16 were generated in whole or in part by the e-cigarette. These comprised major e-liquid constituents (nicotine, propylene glycol, and glycerol), recognized impurities in Pharmacopoeia-quality nicotine, and eight thermal decomposition products of propylene glycol or glycerol. By contrast, approximately 100 measurands were detected in mainstream cigarette smoke. Depending on the regulatory list considered and the puffing regime used, the emissions of toxicants identified for regulation were from 82 to >99% lower on a per-puff basis from the e-cigarette compared with those from Ky3R4F. Thus, the aerosol from the e-cigarette is compositionally less complex than cigarette smoke and contains significantly lower levels of toxicants. These data demonstrate that e-cigarettes can be developed that offer the potential for substantially reduced exposure to cigarette toxicants. Further studies are required to establish whether the potential lower consumer exposure to these toxicants will result in tangible public health benefits.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Glycerol

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During 2011-2015, increased electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and hookah use offset declines in cigarette and other tobacco product use among youths (persons aged <18 years) (1). Limited information exists about which tobacco product introduced youths to tobacco product use. Patterns of first use of e-cigarettes among Oregon youths who were tobacco users were assessed in the Oregon Healthy Teens 2015 survey, a cross-sectional survey of eighth and 11th grade students in Oregon. Respondents were asked, "The very first time you used any tobacco or vaping product, which type of product did you use?" Among students who had ever used any tobacco product (ever users), e-cigarettes were the most common introductory tobacco product reported by both eighth (43.5%) and 11th (34.4%) grade students. Among students who used a tobacco product for ≥1 day during the past 30 days (current users), e-cigarettes were the most common introductory tobacco product reported by eighth grade students (44.4%) and the second most common introductory tobacco product reported by 11th grade students (31.0%). Introductory use of e-cigarettes was commonly reported among youths in Oregon who were ever or current tobacco users, underscoring the importance of proven interventions to prevent all forms of tobacco use among youths (2,3).

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Cigarette, Nicotine, Cigar, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Cigarettes

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While the toxicity of the main constituents of electronic cigarette (ECIG) liquids, nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), and vegetable glycerin (VG), has been assessed individually in separate studies, limited data on the inhalation toxicity of them is available when in mixtures. In this 90-day subchronic inhalation study, Sprague-Dawley rats were nose-only exposed to filtered air, nebulized vehicle (saline), or three concentrations of PG/VG mixtures, with and without nicotine. Standard toxicological endpoints were complemented by molecular analyses using transcriptomics, proteomics, and lipidomics. Compared with vehicle exposure, the PG/VG aerosols showed only very limited biological effects with no signs of toxicity. Addition of nicotine to the PG/VG aerosols resulted in effects in line with nicotine effects observed in previous studies, including up-regulation of xenobiotic enzymes (Cyp1a1/Fmo3) in the lung and metabolic effects, such as reduced serum lipid concentrations and expression changes of hepatic metabolic enzymes. No toxicologically relevant effects of PG/VG aerosols (up to 1.520  mg PG/L + 1.890 mg VG/L) were observed, and no adverse effects for PG/VG/nicotine were observed up to 438/544/6.7 mg/kg/day. This study demonstrates how complementary systems toxicology analyses can reveal, even in the absence of observable adverse effects, subtoxic and adaptive responses to pharmacologically active compounds such as nicotine.

Concepts: Metabolism, Smoking, Tobacco, Nicotine, Toxicology, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Glycerol

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E-liquids generally contain four main components: nicotine, flavours, water and carrier liquids. The carrier liquid dissolves flavours and nicotine and vaporises at a certain temperature on the atomizer of the e-cigarette. Propylene glycol and glycerol, the principal carriers used in e-liquids, undergo decomposition in contact with the atomizer heating-coil forming volatile carbonyls. Some of these, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and acrolein, are of concern due to their adverse impact on human health when inhaled at sufficient concentrations. The aim of this study was to correlate the yield of volatile carbonyls emitted by e-cigarettes with the temperature of the heating coil. For this purpose, a popular commercial e-liquid was machine-vaped on a third generation e-cigarette which allowed the variation of the output wattage (5-25W) and therefore the heat generated on the atomizer heating-coil. The temperature of the heating-coil was determined by infrared thermography and the vapour generated at each temperature underwent subjective sensorial quality evaluation by an experienced vaper. A steep increase in the generated carbonyls was observed when applying a battery-output of at least 15W corresponding to 200-250°C on the heating coil. However, when considering concentrations in each inhaled puff, the short-term indoor air guideline value for formaldehyde was already exceeded at the lowest wattage of 5W, which is the wattage applied in most 2nd generation e-cigarettes. Concentrations of acetaldehyde in each puff were several times below the short-term irritation threshold value for humans. Acrolein was only detected from 20W upwards. The negative sensorial quality evaluation by the volunteering vaper of the vapour generated at 20W demonstrated the unlikelihood that such a wattage would be realistically set by a vaper. This study highlights the importance to develop standardised testing methods for the assessment of carbonyl-emissions and emissions of other potentially harmful compounds from e-cigarettes. The wide variety and variability of products available on the market make the development of such methods and the associated standardised testing conditions particularly demanding.

Concepts: Evaluation, Tobacco, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Diol, Propylene glycol, Glycerol, Thermography

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E-cigarettes are emerging products, often described as “reduced-risk” nicotine products or alternatives to combustible cigarettes. Many smokers switch to e-cigarettes to quit or significantly reduce smoking. However, no regulations for e-cigarettes are currently into force, so that the quality and safety of e-liquids is not necessarily guaranteed. We exposed primary human bronchial epithelial cells of two different donors to vapor of e-cigarette liquid with or without nicotine, vapor of the carrier substances propylene glycol and glycerol as well as to mainstream smoke of K3R4F research cigarettes. The exposure was done in a CULTEX® RFS compact  module, allowing the exposure of the cells at the air-liquid interface. 24 h post-exposure, cell viability and oxidative stress levels in the cells were analyzed. We found toxicological effects of e-cigarette vapor and the pure carrier substances, whereas the nicotine concentration did not have an effect on the cell viability. The viability of mainstream smoke cigarette exposed cells was 4.5-8 times lower and the oxidative stress levels 4.5-5 times higher than those of e-cigarette vapor exposed cells, depending on the donor. Our experimental setup delivered reproducible data and thus provides the opportunity for routine testing of e-cigarette liquids to ensure safety and quality for the user.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Electronic cigarette, Propylene glycol, Glycerol

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We have studied the influence of adding propylene glycol to both aqueous dispersions of fumed silica nanoparticles and emulsions of paraffin liquid and water stabilized by the same particles. In the absence of oil, aerating mixtures of aqueous propylene glycol and particles yields either stable dispersions, aqueous foams, climbing particle films, or liquid marbles depending on the glycol content and particle hydrophobicity. The presence of glycol in water promotes particles to behave as if they are more hydrophilic. Calculations of their contact angle at the air-aqueous propylene glycol surface are in agreement with these findings. In the presence of oil, particle-stabilized emulsions invert from water-in-oil to oil-in-water upon increasing either the inherent hydrophilicity of the particles or the glycol content in the aqueous phase. Stable multiple emulsions occur around phase inversion in systems of low glycol content, and completely stable, waterless oil-in-propylene glycol emulsions can also be prepared. Accounting for the surface energies at the respective interfaces allows estimation of the contact angle at the oil-polar phase interface; reasonable agreement between measured and calculated phase inversion conditions is found assuming no glycol adsorption on particle surfaces.

Concepts: Water, Chemical properties, Colloid, Liquid, Surface tension, Emulsion, Angle, Propylene glycol

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Diclofenac-loaded phospholipid vesicles, namely conventional liposomes, ethosomes and PEVs (Penetration Enhancer-containing Vesicles) were developed and their efficacy in TPA (phorbol ester) induced skin inflammation was examined. Vesicles were made from a cheap and unpurified mixture of phospholipids and diclofenac sodium; Transcutol(®) P and propylene glycol were added to obtain PEVs, and ethanol to produce ethosomes. The structure and lamellar organization of the vesicle bilayer were investigated by Transmission Electron Microscopy and Small and Wide Angle X-ray Scattering, as well as the main physico-chemical features. The formulations, along with a diclofenac solution and commercial Voltaren Emulgel(®), were tested in a comparative trial for anti-inflammatory efficacy on TPA-treated mice dorsal skin. Vesicles were around 100nm, negatively charged, able to encapsulate diclofenac in good yields, and disclosed different lamellarity, as a function of the formulation composition. Vesicular formulations promoted drug accumulation and reduced the permeation. Administration of vesicular diclofenac on TPA-inflamed skin resulted in marked attenuation of oedema and leukocyte infiltration, especially using PEVs. Histology confirmed the effectiveness of vesicles, since they provided an amelioration of the tissual damage induced by TPA. The proposed approach based on vesicular nanocarriers may hold promising therapeutic value for treating a variety of inflammatory skin disorders.

Concepts: Inflammation, Electron, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Diclofenac, Aspirin, X-ray crystallography, Scientific techniques, Propylene glycol

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Glycol ethers are a class of semi-volatile substances used as solvents in a variety of consumer products like cleaning agents, paints, cosmetics as well as chemical intermediates. We determined 11 metabolites of ethylene and propylene glycol ethers in 44 urine samples of German residents (background level study) and in urine samples of individuals after exposure to glycol ethers during cleaning activities (exposure study). In the study on the background exposure, methoxyacetic acid and phenoxyacetic acid (PhAA) could be detected in each urine sample with median (95th percentile) values of 0.11mgL(-1) (0.30mgL(-1)) and 0.80mgL(-1) (23.6mgL(-1)), respectively. The other metabolites were found in a limited number of samples or in none. In the exposure study, 5-8 rooms were cleaned with a cleaner containing ethylene glycol monobutyl ether (EGBE), propylene glycol monobutyl ether (PGBE), or ethylene glycol monopropyl ether (EGPE). During cleaning the mean levels in the indoor air were 7.5mgm(-3) (EGBE), 3.0mgm(-3) (PGBE), and 3.3mgm(-3) (EGPE), respectively. The related metabolite levels analysed in the urine of the residents of the rooms at the day of cleaning were 2.4mgL(-1) for butoxyacetic acid, 0.06mgL(-1) for 2-butoxypropionic acid, and 2.3mgL(-1) for n-propoxyacetic acid. Overall, our study indicates that the exposure of the population to glycol ethers is generally low, with the exception of PhAA. Moreover, the results of the cleaning scenarios demonstrate that the use of indoor cleaning agents containing glycol ethers can lead to a detectable internal exposure of residents.

Concepts: Median, Arithmetic mean, Ethylene glycol, Diol, Propylene glycol, Background radiation, Urinalysis, Glycol ethers