TitleHow Much Nicotine is in Your Electronic Cigarette Flavored Liquid?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsGuy, MC, Pokhrel, P, Herzog, TA, Cassel, KD, Sakuma, K-L, Trinidad, DR, Palafox, S, Halquist, MS, Eissenberg, T, Bodnar-Deren, S, Fagan, P
JournalTobacco Regulatory Science
Pagination15 - 26
Date Published01/2019


In this study, we examined the concordance of manufacturers' labeled nicotine concentration on flavored electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) liquids with lab measured nicotine concentrations and how nicotine is marketed on product labels.


The top 10 selling flavored e-cigarette liquids for 7 brands were purchased from 7 vape shops in 2 major US cities – Richmond, Virginia and Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2015. We examined the nicotine concentration using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (.05mg/mL limit of quantification) and descriptive information on the e-cigarette bottles (N = 40).


All nicotine-based samples showed discordance between the labeled and lab measured nicotine concentrations. Overall, 27% showed a higher mean level of measured nicotine, and Richmond, VA samples showed the highest levels of discordance (-60% [pipe tobacco]; 39% [green goblin]). Additionally, 90% of the 6 different types of nicotine-related warning statements indicated that the product "may" contain nicotine ("e-liquid may contain nicotine") even when the product contained nicotine. Moreover, 20% of the e-cigarette liquids included descriptors (low, medium, high nicotine).


The findings show that e-cigarette manufacturers provided inaccurate information about nicotine on product labels. Studies are needed to determine what quality control standards are needed to protect the public from the harms of nicotine.

Short Titletobacco reg sci