Electronic cigarette refill liquids: Nicotine content, presence of child-resistant packaging, and in-shop compounding

Kelly Buettner-Schmidt, Donald R. Miller, Megan Orr, Narayanaganesh Balasubramanian, Katelyn Rykal, Katherine F. Steward, Kathleen Swanson, Missy Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To expand on our 2015 study of the nicotine content accuracy of e-liquids, including salts, and the presence of child-resistant packaging. We also describe compounding in shop (CIS). Design and methods: We analyzed samples from 35 shops. CIS processing was observed. Descriptive statistics summarized the data, and inference was performed. Results: Actual nicotine content was significantly less than the identified content, on average, with a mean percent deviation 34.0% below the identified content. Only 3.8% of the samples' actual nicotine content was within 10% of the identified content; the maximum deviation was 213.2%. Of eight uniquely packaged samples, including designs resembling pop cans, ice cream cones, etc., the mean percent deviation was −39.6%; none were within 10% of the identified content. Eight shops compounded samples. After removing outlier values, significant differences were found in the percent deviations between the CIS and non-CIS free-base samples. A significantly higher percentage of CIS samples had nicotine content > 10% above the identified content, and none were within 10%. One shop visually estimated the nicotine quantities to add, e-liquids were not always relabeled to reflect new nicotine levels, and protective materials were not always worn during compounding. Child-resistant packaging was not present for one third of the samples. Conclusions: Labeling of nicotine content in e-liquids remains inaccurate, child-resistant packaging is inconsistent, and CIS is problematic. Effective e-liquid regulation is needed to protect public health. Practice implications: Nurses should educate families about the serious health risks of e-liquids and advocate for increased e-liquid regulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-54
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of pediatric nursing
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • Child safety
  • E-liquids
  • Electronic nicotine delivery systems
  • Nicotine content
  • Product packaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Electronic cigarette refill liquids: Nicotine content, presence of child-resistant packaging, and in-shop compounding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this