A new research paper has been published titled “E-cigarette Flavor Restrictions’ Effects on Tobacco Product Sales“.
You can view the full paper here.
Introduction & Methods
In the US over 375 localities and 7 States have permanent restrictions on flavoured Vapes (ENDS = Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems).
The study was proposed to investigate whether tobacco sales increased in areas where flavoured vapes were banned / restricted.
Data was collated by using the IRI (Information Resources Incorporated) retail sales figures on vapes and cigarettes. These figures cover 44 states from January 2018 up to March 2023.
The base unit for vapes was a 0.7ml pod and packs for cigarettes. Also the data on which vape flavours were purchased is included.
The age of purchasers was taken into account to specify which products were more appealing to different age groups.
Plus the impact of restrictions were tracked – at the start of the data collection period 2.1% of the residents were covered by a flavour restriction. By the end of the collection period 15% were covered.
The results show that from January 2018 to March 2023 the average person purchased 2.635 packs of cigarettes per 4-week period.
Over the same time the average sales for 0.7ml units of e-liquid were 0.48 per person in 4 weeks.
Vape sales following a flavour ban
Also brands which were generally more appealing to youth smokers increased sales after flavour bans.
In areas where flavours had a full ban there was a 0.354% reduction in vape sales alongside a 0.2 increase in cigarette pack sales per person.
Cigarette sales following a flavour ban
There are a lot more in-depth statistics in the full paper, I am just summarising some of the main points.
I copy and paste from the Abstract of the paper…
“Matching new flavor policy data to retail sales data, we find a trade off of 15 additional cigarettes for every 1 less 0.7 mL ENDS pod sold due to ENDS flavor restrictions. Further, cigarette sales increase even among brands disproportionately used by underage youth. Thus, any public health benefits of reducing ENDS use via flavor restrictions may be offset by public health costs from increased cigarette sales.”
As said above – every 0.7ml vape pod not sold due to the restrictions, a further 15 additional cigarettes are purchased. Which is pretty shocking!
“In this study, we find that ENDS flavor policies reduce flavored ENDS sales as intended, but also increase cigarette sales across age groups. As cigarettes are much more lethal than ENDS, the high rate of substitution estimated here suggests that, on net, any population health benefits of ENDS flavor policies are likely small or even negative.”
Related “X” Posts
As you can imagine this has really become of interest to vape advocates and I share some of their comments below.
Excited to share a new working paper using sales data through March 2023 to find that state and local laws restricting flavors in #ecigs increase cigarette sales, including for cigarette brands disproportionately used by youth. 1/5https://t.co/SdZy6Ef1Tk
— Michael F. Pesko 🇺🇦 (@mikepesko) September 28, 2023
When will regulators learn? https://t.co/Kz7jDq5kME
— Martin C (@NannyFreeState) September 28, 2023
Wow! For every e-cig pod not sold because of vape flavor bans, the tradeoff is 15 additional cigarettes. Very important paper. https://t.co/lopxfcOAFS
— Guy Bentley (@gbentley1) September 28, 2023
Shocker of shocks https://t.co/4sE4fgyi2E
— Gregory Conley (@GregTHR) September 28, 2023
Vape flavor bans increase smoking.
Thread 👇 https://t.co/fTCTtJUTZE
— Jukka Kelovuori (@jkelovuori) September 28, 2023
“for every 1 less 0.7 mL e-cigarette pod sold due to e-cigarette flavor restrictions, 15 additional cigarettes were purchased.” Revelatory 🧵 https://t.co/Cu41t3kIXc
— Phillip Kirschberg (@RushmoreExt23) September 28, 2023
This is important health economics research, adding to dozens of studies showing the same thing.
There are 15 US adult nicotine regular nicotine vapers for every 1 teen frequent vaper.
What happens if you prohibit 80% of the products these adults are using to avoid cigarettes? https://t.co/GL9OLzoXhW
— Charles A. Gardner, PhD (@ChaunceyGardner) September 28, 2023
“Matching new flavor policy data to retail sales data, we find a tradeoff of 15 additional cigarettes for every 1 less 0.7 mL ENDS pod sold due to ENDS flavor restrictions.”
Worth a read…. https://t.co/Fil5eKlaPH
— Jonathan Foulds PhD (@JonathanFoulds) September 28, 2023
Study: Banning or restricting flavored e-cigarettes leads to more cigarette sales. Let’s hope the “public health” groups pushing bans are paying attention. #smoking #vaping #philanthropy https://t.co/AHwBTJj03X
— MarcGunther (@MarcGunther) September 29, 2023
Over 375 US localities and 7 states have adopted permanent restrictions on sales of flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems (“ENDS”). These policies’ effects on combustible cigarette use (“smoking”), a more lethal habit, remain unclear. Matching new flavor policy data to…
— Allison (@alli_vapes) September 29, 2023
Of note to @Irishheart_ie and ASH Ireland who have relentlessly pushed for flavour band. https://t.co/VQ6WLyT4uV
— NNA Ireland (@IrelandNna) September 29, 2023
New research shows that state & local laws that restrict flavours in #vapes not only decrease sales of vapes, they also increase sales of #cigarettes, “including for cigarette brands disproportionately used by youth”.
From @AlexCLiber @AFriedmanPhD @mikepesko & Alyssa Crippen. https://t.co/NiW4DkFtHn
— The Global State of Tobacco Harm Reduction (@GlobalStateTHR) September 29, 2023
On this side of the Atlantic (my homeland 🇮🇪 in particular) people often say we should learn from the US and ban #vaping flavours. So let’s look at this evidence from the US then.
Flavour bans on e-cigarettes increased tobacco cigarette sales.@DonnellyStephen @ColmBurkeTD https://t.co/I1YZRwkuxV
— Gillian Eva Golden (@gillianegolden) September 29, 2023
This should immediately end the push for cigarette-promoting vape flavour bans and cause a *total rethink* at @BloombergDotOrg.
Will @drkellyhenning and @MikeBloomberg now meet with the authors who “bring data” that should halt this harm-inducing philanthropy.
Cc @MarcGunther https://t.co/eDSMQRxZ3o
— Clive Bates (@Clive_Bates) September 28, 2023
“A new working paper by health researchers Abigail S Friedman, Alex C. Liber, Alyssa Crippen, and Michael F. Pesko looks at the effects of flavor bans on cigarette consumption, and the results are concerning.” –@jadler1969
You want -nay- you need to know more. https://t.co/OjR0mFusUC
— Phillip Kirschberg (@RushmoreExt23) September 29, 2023
Further evidence that #vape flavour bans ⬆️⬆️⬆️ deadly smoking
In a US study of 365 localities and 7 States with flavour restrictions
“we find a tradeoff of 15 additional #cigs for every 1 less 0.7 mL ENDS pod sold due to ENDS flavor restrictions”https://t.co/zJ5pHcAm2S… pic.twitter.com/ahX1ADY5Ud
— Dr Colin Mendelsohn (@ColinMendelsohn) September 28, 2023