Home > Exposure to secondhand aerosol from electronic cigarettes at homes: a real-life study in four European countries.

Amalia, Beladenta and Fu, Marcela and Tigova, Olena and Ballbè, Montse and Paniello-Castillo, Blanca and Castellano, Yolanda and Vyzikidou, Vergina K and O'Donnell, Rachel and Dobson, Ruaraidh and Lugo, Alessandra and Veronese, Chiara and Pérez-Ortuño, Raúl and Pascual, José A and Cortés, Nuria and Gil, Fernando and Olmedo, Pablo and Soriano, Joan B and Boffi, Roberto and Ruprecht, Ario and Ancochea, Julio and López, Maria J and Gallus, Silvano and Vardavas, Constantine and Semple, Sean and Fernández, Esteve (2023) Exposure to secondhand aerosol from electronic cigarettes at homes: a real-life study in four European countries. Science of the Total Environment, 854, 158668. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158668.

External website: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use emits potentially hazardous compounds and deteriorates indoor air quality. Home is a place where e-cigarettes may frequently be used amid its increasing prohibition in public places. This study assessed the real-life scenario of bystanders' exposure to secondhand e-cigarette aerosol (SHA) at home. A one-week observational study was conducted within the TackSHS project in four countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) in 2019 including: 1) homes of e-cigarette users living together with a non-user/non-smoker; and 2) control homes with no smokers nor e-cigarette users. Indoor airborne nicotine, PM, and PM concentrations were measured as environmental markers of SHA. Biomarkers, including nicotine and its metabolites, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, propanediol, glycerol, and metals were measured in participants' saliva and urine samples. E-cigarette use characteristics, such as e-cigarette refill liquid's nicotine concentration, e-cigarette type, place of e-cigarette use at home, and frequency of ventilation, were also collected. A total of 29 e-cigarette users' homes and 21 control homes were included.

The results showed that the seven-day concentrations of airborne nicotine were quantifiable in 21 (72.4 %) out of 29 e-cigarette users' homes; overall, they were quite low (geometric mean: 0.01 μg/m; 95 % CI: 0.01-0.02 μg/m) and were all below the limit of quantification in control homes. Seven-day concentrations of PM and PM in e-cigarette and control homes were similar. Airborne nicotine and PM concentrations did not differ according to different e-cigarette use characteristics. Non-users residing with e-cigarette users had low but significantly higher levels of cotinine, 3'-OH-cotinine and 1,2-propanediol in saliva, and cobalt in urine than non-users living in control homes. In conclusion, e-cigarette use at home created bystanders' exposure to SHA regardless of the e-cigarette use characteristics. Further studies are warranted to assess the implications of SHA exposure for smoke-free policy.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Harm reduction, Screening / Assessment
1 January 2023
Identification #
doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.158668

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