Significance – Tobacco related disease is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The global inhaled tobacco product market is rapidly evolving as new products such as ‘electronic cigarettes’ and ‘heat not burn’ grow in popularity around the world. It is not yet fully understood whether these relatively recent tobacco products will have a negative, neutral, or positive impact on public health in the USA and around the world. This thesis is focused on the design, development, and deployment of a family of monitors which can be deployed with users in their natural environment to better understand how these products may shift user behavior, and ultimately, health effects. This thesis is focused on topography monitoring – the observation and recording of tobacco user’s product use patterns including number and time of puffs and individual puff flow rate, duration, and volume. Topography monitors developed with evidence driven ergonomic and aesthetic considerations allow the improvement the accuracy of collecting users’ true ad lib behavior in their natural environment, which in turn provides accurate and reliable information to inform regulatory policy regarding tobacco products.
Methods – The first step in this investigation is to define the inhaled tobacco products to be monitored. Once these products have been analyzed, findings dictate the design of the topography monitor. Monitors are then developed to satisfy ergonomic and aesthetic needs for improved user compliance and true behavior in the natural environment. A key design objective for the family of topography monitors is to reduce deviation from the user’s normal product use behavior. Finally, performance metrics are identified and used to quantify user feedback, monitoring accuracy, and overall design effectiveness of each monitor in the family.
Results – To date, wPUM™ monitors for hookahs, combustible cigarettes, the JUUL® e-cigarette, the NJOY vape pen, and the Standard Research Electronic Cigarette (SREC) have been developed and prototyped with this method.
Professional Studies (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Professional Studies (SOIS)
Edward C. Hensel
Risa J. Robinsion
Sarles, Samantha "Emma", "Development of Topography Monitors for Inhaled Nicotine Delivery Systems" (2019). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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