Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), or E-Cigarettes, Explained

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) or E-Cigarettes

"3. ENDS, of which electronic cigarettes are the most common prototype, deliver an aerosol by heating a solution that users inhale. The main constituents of the solution by volume, in addition to nicotine when nicotine is present, are propylene glycol, with or without glycerol and flavouring agents.
"4. Although some ENDS are shaped to look like their conventional tobacco counterparts (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, pipes, or hookahs), they also take the form of everyday items such as pens, USB memory sticks, and larger cylindrical or rectangular devices.
"5. Battery voltage and unit circuitry differences can result in considerable variability in the products' ability to heat the solution to an aerosol and, consequently, may affect delivery of nicotine and other constituents, and may contribute to the formation of toxicants in the emissions.
"6. User behaviour may affect nicotine absorption – length of puffs, depth of inhalation and frequency of use may be factors. However, while a faster, deeper puff increases nicotine delivery from a conventional cigarette, it might diminish it from ENDS due to cooling of the heating element.
"7. In addition to manufacturer differences, some users modify products at home to alter delivery of nicotine and/or other drugs. Products vary widely in the ease with which they can be modified and the ease with which they can be filled with substances other than nicotine solutions."


Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, Report by World Health Organization to 6th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, July 21, 2014, p. 2.