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Study of third hand nicotine from e-cigarette exposure wins NIH Addiction Science Award
Date:5/16/2014

An exploration of third hand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes was given the top Addiction Science Award at the 2014 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)the world's largest science competition for high school students. The awards are coordinated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and Friends of NIDA, a coalition that supports NIDA's mission. The Intel ISEF Addiction Science Awards were presented at a ceremony Thursday night at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

First place distinction was awarded to Lily Wei Lee, a high school senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City for her project, Assessment of Third Hand Exposure to Nicotine from Electronic Cigarettes. The 18 year-old wondered whether e-cigarette use could pose a risk of third hand exposure, where nicotine from vapors sticks to surfaces to affect non-users even if they aren't exposed to the e-cigarette use. She took three brands of e-cigarettes and filled them with varying nicotine concentrations. Using a syringe to ensure consistent puffs, e-cigarettes were vaped, after which nicotine concentrations were measured from surrounding surfaces a glass window, vinyl walls, tiled floor, metal, and wood. Lee found significant increases in the amount of nicotine on all five surfaces; the floor and window had the greatest nicotine levels. The amount of residual nicotine depended on the particular brand used. Lee hopes to next explore whether e-cigarette usage is also related to increased third hand exposure to cancer-causing agents.

"This bright, young scientist showed that non-users can be exposed to nicotine residue from just one e-cigarette, even if the e-cigarette usage occurred some time ago," said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D. "Chronic e-cigarette use would be expected to produce even higher levels of third hand nicotine exposure, and it's unclear how such exposure could impact the health of close
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Contact: NIDA Press Team
media@nida.nih.gov
301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert  

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