Author ORCID Identifier


Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Eissenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Caroline Cobb

Third Advisor

Dr. Matthew Halquist


Electronic cigarettes (ECIGs) produce an aerosol by heating a liquid that often contains nicotine. The nicotine can be protonated, potentially making the aerosol easier to inhale than freebase nicotine. This study’s purpose was to determine, in inhaled tobacco product users, the effects of three concentrations of protonated nicotine aerosolized at two different power settings (in watts).

Twenty-two participants completed six sessions that varied by liquid nicotine concentration (10, 15, or 30 mg/ml protonated nicotine) and device power (15 or 30 W). Participants took 10 puffs from each product and then used each product for 60 minutes ad libitum. Plasma nicotine concentration, puff topography, and subjective effects were measured.

Findings from the present study suggest that liquid protonated nicotine concentration and device power setting influence ECIG nicotine delivery, user behavior, and subjective effects associated with use of ECIG devices containing protonated nicotine. For example, increases in one or more than one of these factors leads to increases in plasma nicotine concentration. This effect emphasizes the need to consider several factors in order to effectively regulate the nicotine delivery of ECIGs.


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