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The Impact of E-liquid Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin Ratio on Ratings of Subjective Effects, Reinforcement Value, and Use in Current Smokers.

PMID: 31403695 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntz130 (read at publisher's website )
PMCID: PMC7171278 (free full text version available)

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Tracy T Smith, Bryan W Heckman, Amy E Wahlquist, K Michael Cummings, Matthew J Carpenter,

<h4>Introduction</h4>Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) vary on a wide range of characteristics that may affect reinforcement value and use. One characteristic is the ratio of two solvents commonly used in most e-liquids: propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). The goal of this study was to understand how PG/VG ratio affects subjective effects, reinforcement value, and tobacco use patterns among current smokers who try using ENDS.<h4>Aims and methods</h4>Current smokers with minimal ENDS use history (n = 30) sampled, in a double-blind fashion, three different e-liquids that varied in PG/VG ratio (70/30, 50/50, 0/100) while holding constant other aspects of the e-liquid and ENDS. Participants tried each e-liquid before rating the subjective effects on a modified version of the Cigarette Evaluation Questionnaire. Reinforcement value was assessed using a preference task where participants chose between the three e-liquids. The impact of each e-liquid on cigarette reinforcement was assessed using a modified version of the Cigarette Purchase Task. Participants were randomly assigned to receive one e-liquid to take home for 1 week.<h4>Results</h4>PG/VG ratio had minimal impact on most of the tested outcomes. Participants rated the highest PG concentration as having a stronger "throat hit" than the other two. There was no significant difference between the number of participants who preferred each of the PG/VG ratios in the preference assessment. PG/VG ratio did not affect cigarette or ENDS use during the sampling week.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These data suggest that PG/VG ratio has minimal impact on subjective effects and reinforcement value in ENDS naive current smokers.<h4>Implications</h4>These data suggest that PG/VG ratio, within the range that is commonly used, has minimal impact on subjective effects, reinforcement value, or uptake in current smokers with minimal ENDS experience.

Nicotine Tob Res (Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco)
[2020, 22(5):791-797]

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