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CORESTA Meeting, Smoke Science/Product Technology, 2023, Cancun, STPOST 49

Design of a compact connected puffing topography instrument for real-world measurements of e-cigarette use behaviour

BAT Investments Limited, R&D Centre, Southampton, U.K.

Puffing topography studies are essential for understanding use behaviour and informing standard puffing regimens for the assessment of e-cigarette emissions data. Previous studies have variously used video recordings or topography analysers designed for smoking and adapted for vaping in lab-based studies. A few portable e-cigarette instruments are available, but they may affect the natural puffing behaviour of e-cigarette users. Here we report the concept and design of an e-cigarette-specific topography measurement device that incorporates a commercial pod-type e-cigarette (ePen3; Nicoventures, London, UK) within a compact 3D-printed polyamide housing. The housing contains four circuit boards and six sensors, including a miniature gas flow sensor (FLS110; Flusso™, Cambridge, UK), to record puffing parameters (duration, volume, flow rate), temperature, pressure, and humidity, among other parameters. The device automatically records these data when the user initiates a vaping session by pressing the power button. The puffing data are stored locally on an SD card and are transferred via the mobile 2G network to an IoT platform, when connected to the charger, providing device and communications management (Arm Pelion, Glasgow, UK). Subsequently, the data are transferred to the server of an analytics platforms (Zizo, Milton Keynes, UK), which provides data management and produces real-time dashboards and reports. The analytics platform also delivers questionnaires and notifications to users of JAK via a smartphone application and collates the data. This compact instrument will enable the recording of real-world use-behaviour data, which will provide accurate assessments of an e-cigarette user’s exposure and may be used to inform standard puffing regimens for product regulation.