Electronic cigarettes (E-cigs) are battery-operated devices gaining increasing popularity as an alternative to tobacco-cigarettes. Little is known regarding the physiochemical characteristics or health-related effects for the large array of aerosols that are inhaled and exhaled by e-cig users. Through a series of studies, we have systematically characterized first- and second-hand e-cig aerosols in chambers and in indoor environments. We found that e-cig device voltage, puff duration, puff volume, and e-liquid ingredients are important factors determining physiochemical properties of e-cig aerosols. In addition, the use of e-cigs in indoor environments leads to high levels of fine and ultrafine particles similar to tobacco cigarettes. Concentrations of chemical compounds in e-cig aerosols are generally lower than those in tobacco smoke, but a substantial amount of vaporized propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and toxic substances, such as aldehydes and heavy metals, have been reported. Exposures to mainstream e-cig aerosols have biologic effects, but only limited evidence showing adverse respiratory and cardiovascular effects in humans. Long-term studies are needed to better understand the dosimetry and health effects of exposures to secondhand e-cig aerosols.
Dr. Yifang Zhu is Professor of the Environmental Health Sciences (EHS) Department in UCLA Fielding School of Public Health where she also serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Programs. She graduated from Tsinghua University in 1997 and received her Ph.D. from UCLA EHS department in 2003. Her research interest is primarily in the field of air pollution, environmental exposure assessment, and aerosol science and technology. Her current research focuses on measuring and modeling air pollutant emissions, transport, and transformation as well as assessing and mitigating the associated exposure and adverse health effects. She is working on a wide range of research projects both locally and globally. Her scholarship and creativity has been recognized by several national awards, including the Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award from the Health Effects Institute in 2007, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation in 2009, and the Haagen-Smit Prize from Atmosphere Environment in 2011. Dr. Zhu was appointed to California Air Resource Board’s Research Screening Committee in January 2014. She also serves on the editorial board for Atmospheric Environment and Aerosol and Air Quality Research.
CEUs offerred for ABIH, REHS, BRN, or BCSP.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
a. Recognize the chemical composition of standard electronic cigarettes
b. Identify the transport of electronic cigarette smoke
c. Report gaps in knowledge and future study areas related to electronic cigarettes