Presence of nicotine in marketed nicotine-free e-liquids for electronic cigarettes


  • Michael Wu Author
  • BCIT School of Health Sciences, Environmental Health Institution
  • Helen Heacock Supervisor
  • Maria Tirado Contributor
  • Fred Shaw Contributor



Electronic cigarette, E-liquids, Nicotine, Accurate labelling, Addiction



Background and Purpose: Ever since the electronic cigarette made its debut in the market, it has been garnering great popularity due to public perception of it being a safer alternative to conventional cigarette. As a result, aside from being utilized in tobacco cessation programs, susceptible populations such as teenagers are slowly adopting this new trend of recreational E-cigarette smoking or “vaping”. The literature review conducted suggests that not only do different E-cigarette models exhibit different delivery efficiencies regarding percentage nicotine vapourization, there are discrepancies between what is labelled by the manufacturer and the actual nicotine content in the electronic cigarette liquids. This has serious public health implications because nicotine is the active chemical component in inducing addiction in cigarettes. As a result, recreational electronic cigarette users such as teenagers, may unknowingly become exposed to improper levels of nicotine, leading to a higher probability of nicotine dependence or switching to conventional smoking. The purpose of this study was to determine whether presence of nicotine can be detected in marketed nicotine-free electronic cigarette liquids. Methods: The nicotine content in electronic cigarette liquids was isolated and determined using Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry. Descriptive and inferential statistics was conducted using NCSS11 to see if there was a statistically significant difference between the labelled concentration of 0 mg in marketed “nicotine-free” electronic cigarettes from two popular brands, VapeWild and Mt Baker Vapour, to determine whether one brand has better quality control for nicotine content in nicotine-free E-liquids compared to the other brand. Results: Based on the analyzed E-liquid samples from the two brands, no nicotine was detected. Conclusion: E-cigarettes can be putatively considered as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes because nicotine levels can be pre-determined and limited with a high degree of confidence.



Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Wu, M., BCIT School of Health Sciences, Environmental Health, Heacock, H. ., Tirado, M. ., & Shaw, F. (2017). Presence of nicotine in marketed nicotine-free e-liquids for electronic cigarettes. BCIT Environmental Public Health Journal.