Why one researcher wants to eliminate certain e-liquid flavours
A study titled ‘The effect of potential electronic nicotine delivery system regulations on nicotine product selection’ has recently been published in the online journal Addiction.
The goal of the article is to estimate the potential regulations of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), such as e-cigarettes and vaping models amongst adult smokers. The proposed rules include eliminating certain e-liquid flavours, increasing taxes, and adding warning labels to products regarding potential risks.
The result has been that the lead author, Dr Michael Pesko, has suggested the elimination of some e-liquid flavours. But why?
After sampling 1,200 American adult smokers, the researchers looked into the hypothetical purchasing decisions of each person for traditional cigarettes, ENDS, and nicotine replacement systems.
They found that increasing taxes and adding warning labels to e-cigs and vaping devices could actually discourage smokers from making the switch to these products. While these moves would obviously be damaging for vape shops, they could also do harm to those who would otherwise quit smoking or lower their nicotine intake with the help of vaping.
Interestingly, however, the research found that reducing the number of flavours available as e-liquids would be unlikely to change adult smokers’ behaviour if they decide to try these products in an attempt to quit. However, it also found that young adults (under 25s) were more likely to try vaping products if they were available in a variety of flavours.
Dr. Pesko pointed out that such flavours included candies, desserts, and fruits.
Therefore, his overall conclusion was that if regulations were to remove such flavours from the market, it would not damage the chances of current adult smokers using ENDS to help them quit combustibles, but it might help prevent young adults from taking up vaping.
While the argument and logic is sound, the discussion did not include any information about the high relative safety of vaping products, or the fact that they are far more preferable for a young adult to pick up instead of a cigarette.