A new research study from the United States has looked at what happens when places ban e-liquid flavours (apart from tobacco), and the results show the importance of choice.
A new research study conducted by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States looked at what has happened in certain places when a ban on non-tobacco flavoured vape juice was banned. The results highlighted how important a wide range of flavours is to help smokers to quit and prevent vapers/ex-smokers from regressing back to tobacco use.
Where have they banned flavoured e-liquid?
The American states of Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington have decided that smokers should only be able to choose between smoking cigarettes or vaping tobacco-flavoured juice.
What did the researchers do?
The research team analysed unit sales of electronic cigarettes in those states from 2014, before the bans, to 2020. The aim was to work out if banning choice of flavour had an impact on the number of new vaping products purchased.
But couldn’t other events influence sales?
The team realised that other factors could come into play and made an effort to account for them. Such events include the non-vaping related EVALI outbreak, which was behind many negative media stories about vaping, and the disruption to society in general caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What happened after e-liquid flavours were banned?
The first finding was that sales of tobacco flavours products increased, but this isn’t surprising given that there was no alternative. What matters is that total sales were down – between 20% to 30% down. Vapers also began peaceful protests at political events in order to get their message across to politicians and lawmakers.
Why is this important?
The Canadian Vaping Association pointed to several reasons why this matters. It said: “reducing vape use is not a victory when the outcome was likely former smokers either returning to smoking or turning to the potentially dangerous black market.”
“Through the study of regions with flavour bans, it is clear that these restrictions increase smoking in both youth and adult demographics. For example, San Francisco’s ban on flavoured tobacco product sales was associated with increased smoking among minor high school students relative to other school districts.”
How does this relate to what we already know?
The findings are in line with previous work. A survey of vapers in the UK, the USA, and Canada found that 82% strongly opposed the idea of a flavour ban.
Those people were asked what they would do if there was a ban:
- 57% said they would continue vaping
- Half of those continuing to vape would use any available legal flavour (tobacco)
- The other half continuing to vape said they would find a way to get their preferred choice (DIY or sourcing illegally on the black market)
- 20% of e-cig users said they would stop vaping and return to smoking cigarettes
Is anybody trying to ban flavoured e-liquid in the UK?
Anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health is very influential in Parliament. Although is supports vaping as a means to quit smoking, last year representatives spoke about pushing for plain packaging and restricting flavour choice.
The government is set to release details for the new vape legislation soon. It is unlikely that they will ban flavours despite Action on Smoking and Health’s comments.
Here at E Liquids UK, we pride ourselves on stocking an extensive range of e-liquid flavours from around the world. The health and safety of our customers is paramount to everything we do.