Vapor compounds released from nicotine-free inhalators as a smoking-cessation aid

Ho Seok Kwak, Jung Yeol Han, Gideon Koren, Sang Hee Jo, Ki Hyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The health risks of cigarette smoking have been reported to increase continuously, while it is estimated to be responsible for the death toll of more than seven million people globally each year. In an effort to reduce the risk involved in cigarette smoking, nicotine-free inhalators have been developed as smoking-cessation aids. To evaluate the feasibility of nicotine-free inhalators in such respect, we investigated the composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the consumption of nicotine-free inhalators of which major components include natural essential oils and traditional Chinese medicinal herbs. Vapor samples from nicotine-free inhalators were generated and collected for analysis using an e-cigarette auto-sampler. The vapor samples were captured onto a multi-bed sorbent tube sampler and a 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (DNPH) cartridge for the quantitative analysis with the aid of thermal desorption-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography, respectively. A total of 29 VOCs were determined in vapor samples at concentrations below 0.2 ppm. Concentrations of (+)-isomenthone and acrolein slightly exceeded the derived no-effect level (DNEL) or sensory irritation level. However, VOCs were below the concentration exposure limit, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to our study, most of the aroma compounds and VOCs released from nicotine-free inhalator were lower than the DNEL or sensory irritation level. Consequently, it is found that nicotine-free inhalators could be safe to use in reference to toxic guidelines for inhalation exposure. However, if the use of nicotine-free inhalators is over prolonged period, it can also increase the risk of exposure to potentially toxic compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2232
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Aroma essential oil
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Inhalator
  • No smoking
  • Smoking-cessation aid


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