Flavoring is perhaps one of the most influential reasons smokers make the switch to vaping. Its also one of the most contentious elements of the industry. Anti smoking advocates argue that the flavors only exist to appeal to kids and teens; ignoring the millions of adult vapers who enjoy their flavor options greatly. But new research out of Yale indicates that restricting flavoring will have a negative impact on the fight for tobacco harm reduction.
The Research was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). It was conducted by the Yale School of Public Health and the Centre for Health Policy at the Imperial College in London. The method involved compiling data from 2,000 adult smokers and recent quitters. “Our results are timely and policy-relevant, suggesting which flavor bans are likely to be most effective in protecting public health,” states the study.
The data collected suggests that if flavors had to be banned in vaping and allowed in regular cigarettes, vaping would decline by over 10%. Banning e-liquid flavors would stir many former smokers back to smoking regular cigarettes, hence increase cancer and mortality rates. On the other hand, if menthol flavored cigarettes were banned, there would be a 4.8% reduction in smoking, as most smokers would either switch to vaping, or quit entirely.
“Unsurprisingly, both dual users and vapers show very strong preferences for all types of vape flavors, and vapers prefer e-cigarettes to combustible cigarettes. Lastly, recent quitters display a preference for fruit/sweet flavored vapes, but not for other flavors.” read the study, clearly indicating that it is flavored combustible cigarettes that lawmakers should focus on banning, rather than the safer alternatives.
Around the country flavoring is becoming new battleground for vapers and the industry. Many cities have already heard proposals and a few are considering new laws banning flavors in vapes.