Friday, June 27, 2014

New Survey of Adult Vapers Finds that 75% Use Non-Tobacco Flavors; Flavoring Ban Would Likely Cause Massive Migration Back to Tobacco Cigarettes

A number of policy makers - including several prominent U.S. senators - have called for a ban on e-cigarette flavorings in order to reduce their appeal to youth. Unfortunately, a new survey conducted among 10,000 adult vapers at E-Cigarette Forum suggests that such a ban would lead to a massive migration of adult vapers back to real, tobacco cigarettes.

The survey found that 74.4% of adult vapers most often use non-tobacco flavors, with the majority of these preferring fruit or dessert-related flavors. Only 22.9% prefer tobacco flavoring, and an additional 2.7% prefer tobacco flavoring combined with menthol. Fruit- and dessert-flavored electronic cigarettes represent approximately half of the market among the users surveyed.

The Rest of the Story

This survey has two major implications for public health regulation.

First, the results demonstrate that many adults - in fact the majority of them - do prefer flavored e-cigarettes. Thus, it cannot be assumed that just because an electronic cigarette company markets flavored products, it is intentionally trying to recruit youth users. This is a flaw that many anti-smoking advocates and groups have fallen into. Because the market appears to be dominated by flavored products, it does not logically follow that any company which is marketing flavored e-cigarettes is trying to attract kids to vaping.

Second, the results suggest that a ban on flavorings in e-cigarettes would have devastating consequences for the public's health. Specifically, it would likely cause a massive migration of vapers back to the severely toxic, real, tobacco cigarettes, and with that transition, all of the associated adverse health sequelae.

A further reason not to ban flavorings in e-cigarettes is that youth who experiment with these flavored products are almost certainly much less likely to progress to smoking. It is difficult to imagine a youth transitioning from a cherry e-cigarette to a Marlboro. In a sense, flavored e-cigarettes may actually be protective of youth transitioning from vaping to smoking. The tastes are so vastly different, and the e-cigarette use probably accustoms youth to a flavored taste that they are just not going to get with a real cigarette.

For all of these reasons, I believe that the current evidence does not support the FDA placing a ban on flavorings in electronic cigarettes. Such an action would, ironically, have devastating overall consequences for the public's health, both among youth and adults.


Blogger said...

After doing some research online, I've ordered my first electronic cigarette kit at VaporFi.

Blogger said...

eToro is the #1 forex broker for rookie and pro traders.

Blogger said...

Are you paying more than $5 / pack of cigarettes? I'm buying high quality cigs at Duty Free Depot and I'm saving over 60% from cigarettes.