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    Nearly two years after vitamin E acetate (VEA) was identified as the potential cause of the 2019-2020 outbreak of e-cigarette, or vaping product-associated lung injuries (EVALI), the toxicity mechanisms of VEA vaping are still yet to be fully understood. Studies since the outbreak have found that e-liquids such as VEA undergo thermal degradation during the vaping process to produce various degradation products, which may pose a greater risk of toxicity than exposure to unvaped VEA. Additionally, a wide range of customizable parameters-including the model of e-cigarette used, puffing topography, or the applied power/temperature used to generate aerosols-have been found to influence the physical properties and chemical compositions of vaping emissions. However, the impact of heating coil temperature on the chemical composition of VEA vaping emissions has not been fully assessed. In this study, we investigated the emission product distribution of VEA vaping emissions produced at temperatures ranging from 176 to 356°C, corresponding to a variable voltage vape pen set at 3.3 to 4.8V. VEA degradation was found to be greatly enhanced with increasing temperature, resulting in a shift towards the production of lower molecular weight compounds, such as the redox active duroquinone (DQ) and short-chain alkenes. Low temperature vaping of VEA resulted in the production of long-chain molecules, such as phytol, exposure to which has been suggested to induce lung damage in previous studies. Furthermore, differential product distribution was observed in VEA degradation products generated from vaping and from pyrolysis using a tube furnace in the absence of the heating coil at equivalent temperatures, suggesting the presence of external factors such as metals or oxidation that may enhance VEA degradation during vaping. Overall, our findings indicate that vaping behavior may significantly impact the risk of exposure to toxic vaping products and potential for vaping-related health concerns.


    Alexa Canchola, Ruth Meletz, Riste Ara Khandakar, Megan Woods, Ying-Hsuan Lin. Temperature dependence of emission product distribution from vaping of vitamin E acetate. PloS one. 2022;17(3):e0265365

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    PMID: 35324938

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