Background: Electronic cigarettes are battery powered nicotine vaporizers built with a heating element that atomizes an e-liquid solution. Studies have been conducted to understand user nicotine exposure however, replicating realistic use patterns, puff topography, is necessary to conduct accurate emissions studies. Previous studies have been conducted in the laboratory environment using the CReSS Micro System however, this instrument has limitations making it impractical to measure natural use behavior. The Wireless Personal Use Monitor (wPUM), developed at RIT can overcome the CReSS limitations to capture usage behavior in the natural environment. The wPUM was deployed in 2015 to measure the usage behavior for 20 electronic cigarette users for one week in the natural environment. The study reported anomalies in the subjects’ data files which was later found to have impacted the wPUM performance. Results of this study prompted the team at RIT to investigate the performance of the wPUM under different conditions in a controlled environment.

Goal: The goal of this research is to validate that the wPUM is capable of gathering electronic cigarette topography data under various controlled conditions and to characterize the wPUM’s working range.

Methods: The wPUM was tested utilizing RIT’s Programmable Emissions System (PES) to drive the desired puffing topography. Puffing characteristics varied to determine the wPUM’s working range for puff duration, volume, period and flowrate. Standard profiles were also tested including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) / International Organization of Standardization (ISO) Standard, the Massachusetts Department Public Health Standard, and the Health Canada Intense (HCI) Regimen Standard. Each test was performed with three electronic cigarette brands under dry and condensation conditions.

Results: The results of this study show that the wPUM is capable of detecting variable puffing topography under various testing conditions and environments. It is a reliable device for capturing data in the natural environment.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Electronic cigarettes--Physiological aspects--Data processing; Electronic cigarettes--Physiological aspects--Measurement--Evaluation

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Mechanical Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Mechanical Engineering (KGCOE)


Risa Robinson

Advisor/Committee Member

Edward Hensel

Advisor/Committee Member

Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at RA1242.N5 R68 2016


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