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Unexpected nicotine in Do-it-Yourself electronic cigarette flavourings

Electronic cigarette (EC) users often create their own refill fluids by blending bottled nicotine/propylene glycol/glycerol mixtures with Do-it-Yourself (DIY) flavourings.1 Although a complete refill fluid usually contains nicotine, the flavouring solutions themselves are an additive and are presumed to be free of nicotine, which is a known addictive chemical and toxicant.2 To determine if DIY flavourings are nicotine free, we evaluated 30 products from one vendor, using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) (figure 1B–D), and confirmed the presence of nicotine via gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS) (figure 1E, F). HPLC analysis was performed as previously described in detail.3 Nicotine was extracted from DIY flavorings4 and GC-MS analysis of the extracts was performed using a Hewlett-Packard 5890 Series II gas chromatograph equipped with a Restek Rtx-1MS, 30 m, 0.25 mm column and a Hewlett-Packard 5971A mass selective detector

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