The new 850 square foot smoking rooms use a controlled air supply system with a 3500 CFM exhaust rate for static extraction of contaminated air, according to the contract research organization (CRO). The Cypress, CA-based facility also was designed to enable expansion in the future.
Talia Nikolao Hight, MBA, VP of commercial operations, WCCT, said the smoking rooms provide a safe, isolated environment in which to conduct research into the effect of smoking combustible cigarettes or “vaping.”
Compliant with the California Clean Air Act, California Labor Code 6404.5, and California AB 13, the air in each room can be recycled through in approximately 60 seconds, providing a contaminate-free and stable testing environment for a variety of aerosol products, according to the company.
Additionally, the smoking rooms’ walls are coated with a synthetic dual-membrane sealant for cleaning. Staff also are required to use gowns and gloves at all times.
Hight explained that the major challenge in carrying out research involving nicotine is its chemical nature. “Nicotine tends to cling or adhere to any surface that it comes in contact with and can, therefore, contaminate blood or urine specimens that are specifically being collected to measure nicotine concentration,” she said.
“Any smoker (either staff or study participant) may have nicotine on their fingers or clothing that can possibly find its way into blood or urine collection tubes or even syringes,” Hight added.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) more than 3.6m US middle and high school students in 2018 reported having used electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) in the past 30 days, including 4.9% of middle school students and 20.8% of high school students.