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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(5), 4859-4868; doi:10.3390/ijerph120504859

Variations in Label Information and Nicotine Levels in Electronic Cigarette Refill Liquids in South Korea: Regulation Challenges

1
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Soonchunhyang University, Asan-city 336-745, South Korea
2
Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, Department of Health Behaviors, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 5 March 2015 / Revised: 22 April 2015 / Accepted: 23 April 2015 / Published: 5 May 2015
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Abstract

Background: In South Korea, the consumption of liquid nicotine used in electronic cigarettes has dramatically increased from 4310 L in 2012 to 7220 L in 2013. This study aimed to examine the level of heterogeneity of contents of the labels and discrepancy of the nicotine content between that indicated on the label and the actual values for electronic cigarette liquid refill products in South Korea. Methods: We purchased 32 electronic cigarette liquid refill products (17 Korean domestic, 15 imported ones) and one pure nicotine product at six different electronic cigarette retail stores in Seoul between May and June 2014. The actual nicotine concentrations of each product were measured by a blinded analyst at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY, USA. Results: Three out of 15 imported liquid refill products provided manufacturing dates, while expiration dates were available on eight products. The range of nicotine concentration was from “not detected” to 17.5 mg/mL. Labeling discrepancies of the concentrations ranged from −32.2% to 3.3% among electronic cigarette liquid refill products. The highest concentration (150.3 ± 7.9 mg/mL) was found in a sample labeled as “pure nicotine”. Conclusions: There is no standardization of labelling among electronic cigarette liquids sampled from retail stores and the labels did not accurately reflect the content. One product labeled “pure nicotine” raises concerns, since it may be poisonous to consumers, especially to children. This study revealed the urgent need for the development of product regulations in South Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: electronic cigarettes; labels; nicotine; regulation electronic cigarettes; labels; nicotine; regulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, S.; Goniewicz, M.L.; Yu, S.; Kim, B.; Gupta, R. Variations in Label Information and Nicotine Levels in Electronic Cigarette Refill Liquids in South Korea: Regulation Challenges. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 4859-4868.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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