Table 1

Physiological effects following acute exposure to electronic cigarettes

ReferenceStudy populationStudy groupsSummary of results
Vansickel et al2032 smokers
e-cig naive; two cigs (10 puffs) each type
Own brand cigIncreased heart rate, plasma nicotine & CO
18 mg e-cigNo measurable increase in heart rate, plasma nicotine or CO level
16 mg e-cig
Sham cig
Vardavas et al2130 healthy adult smokers (e-cig status unknown);
Used e-cig for 5 minutes
Nicotine-containing e-cigDecrease in FeNO; Increase in respiratory impedance and respiratory flow resistance (similar to cigarette use)
No-cartridge e-cigControl
Flouris et al 22 2415 smokers # puffs adjusted for smoking historyActive cigIncrease in WBC, lymphocyte, granulocyte counts; cotinine increased; FEV1/FVC decreased
Active e-cigCBC indices unchanged; cotinine increased; FEV1/FVC unchanged
Passive e-cig
Passive cigIncrease in WBC, lymphocyte, granulocyte counts; cotinine increased; FEV1/FVC unchanged
Chorti et al 2315 cigarette smokers; used one e-cigPassive smokingIncreased CO and cotinine
Smoke 2 usual brand cigsDecreased FEV1, FEV1/FVC, & FeNO; increased cotinine and CO
Active e-cigLung function unchanged; cotinine increased
Passive e-cigReduced FEV1/FVC; increased cotinine
Farsalinos et al2522 ex-cigarette e-cig usersBaseline cardiac echo, repeat study after one cig or e-cigNo change in cardiac echo parameters
20 current cigarette usersMeasurable decrease in LV function
Tzatzarakis, et al2610 smokers
Brief active e-cig session
Active cigIncreased interleukins and epidermal growth factor
Active e-cigNo increase in assessed inflammatory markers
10 never-smokers; 1 h exposurePassive cigIncreased tumour necrosis factor alpha
Passive e-cigNo increase in assessed inflammatory markers
  • CBC, complete blood count; CO, carbon monoxide; e-cig, electronic cigarette; FeNO, fractional exhaled nitric oxide, FEV1, forced expiratory volume in 1 s; FVC, forced vital capacity; LV, left ventricle; WBC, white blood count.