Evidence suggests that cigarette smokers who switch to electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) reduce their exposure to harmful toxicants and carcinogens. It is unclear if dual use is associated with decreases in exposure to toxicants.
This parallel-group confinement study assessed changes in biomarkers of exposure (BOEs) over six days among healthy adult smokers who were randomized into 1 of 11 study groups: eight JUUL-brand System (JUUL) groups (4 JUUL flavors [Virginia Tobacco, Menthol, Mint, Mango] × 2 nicotine concentrations [5.0% or 3.0% by weight]); Dual Use group used preferred JUUL flavor (5.0% nicotine) and ≤50% usual brand (UB) cigarettes/day; UB Cigarette group, and one group abstained from all tobacco/nicotine product use (Abstinence group). Urine and blood analysis assessed changes in primary BOE endpoints (NNAL, 3-HPMA, MHBMA, S-PMA COHb) and secondary BOE endpoints (NNN, HMPMA, CEMA, 1-OHP, O-toluidine, 2-NA, 4-ABP) among 279 adult smokers.
In JUUL groups, median percent reductions in primary BOEs (Day 6-Baseline) were 90%- ≥100% of Abstinence; there were no significant differences between JUUL groups and Abstinence. All reductions in JUUL groups were substantially and statistically significantly greater than reductions in the UB Cigarette group (ps<0.025). Median reductions in primary BOEs in the Dual Use group were 43%-55% of Abstinence. Similar results were observed for secondary BOEs.
This study suggests that use of JUUL as a complete or partial substitute (i.e., dual use with ≥50% reduction in cigarette consumption) for combustible cigarettes can substantially reduce exposure to multiple toxins associated with cigarette smoking.
This study adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the utility of ENDS products as potentially reduced-harm alternatives to cigarettes for adult smokers. Adult smokers who switched completely from cigarette smoking to use of the JUUL System (“JUUL”) in two nicotine concentrations (5.0% and 3.0%) and four flavors significantly reduced their exposure to multiple classes of cigarette-related toxicants. Additionally, smokers who used JUUL and continued smoking but reduced their daily cigarette consumption by ≥50% (dual users) also significantly reduced their toxicant exposure compared to cigarette smoking.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco.