Defense Date


Document Type

Directed Research Project

First Advisor

Michelle R. Peace, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Justin L. Poklis, B.S.

Third Advisor

Emanuele A. Alves, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Matthew S. Halquist, Ph.D.


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were originally advertised as an alternative nicotine delivery system to facilitate smoking cessation. However, their popularity for recreational use has increased due to focuses on their trendiness, convenience, and discreteness along with concerns for its use to consume drugs other than nicotine (DOTN). With the adulteration of e-liquids, usually containing nicotine, with other substances, a greater understanding on how DOTN interact with the e-liquid constituents and how they are delivered to the user is necessary. E-liquids were prepared with 50:50 propylene glycol:vegetable glycerin, pure nicotine, pure methadone hydrochloride, and 1:1 methadone hydrochloride:nicotine and aerosolized via an automated vaping machine using parameters adopted from the CORESTA method. Samples were then analyzed using a validated GC-MS method to determine the percent drug recovery. In the pure e-liquids, 0.22 g (±8 %CV) of nicotine and 0.31 g (±4 %CV) of methadone hydrochloride were aerosolized. In the 1:1 methadone hydrochloride:nicotine mixture, the combined drug aerosolization increased. The pure nicotine e-liquid had a recovery of 73% (±21 %CV) and the methadone hydrochloride e-liquid had a recovery of 99% (±2 %CV). In the 1:1 mixture, the recovery of both drugs increased. The development of a eutectic mixture is important for promoting aerosolization of the drug and delivering a greater dose to the user.


© The Author(s)

Is Part Of

VCU Master of Science in Forensic Science Directed Research Projects

Date of Submission


Available for download on Monday, May 04, 2026