EX SMOKERS who switched from cigarettes to vaping are more likely to use fruit flavors over tobacco, new research has revealed.
While many tobacco smokers initiated e-cigarette use by choosing flavors which mimicked their old habit – namely tobacco or menthol – over time more are switching to fruit, candy, desert or chocolate flavors and haven’t returned to cigarettes.
The number of first-time vapers choosing non-tobacco flavors to help transition from cigarettes has also rocketed over the past few years.
The revealing statistics are being seen by the vaping community as vital in proving to the US government and pressure organizations that fruit and candy flavored vape juice is very much used – and has real health benefits – to ex smokers at a time when cities and states are banning flavors, believing them to be sold as a tool to entice young people into taking up e-cigarettes.
The research published in the Harm Reduction Journal was undertaken because the role that flavors play in the population’s use of e-cigarettes and the impact that flavored e-cigarette products have on the population’s use of more harmful tobacco products, like conventional cigarettes “has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a public health research priority”.
In an online survey, 20,836 adult frequent e-cigarette users in the USA were asked about their first e-cigarette flavor and current e-cigarette flavors. Differences in e-cigarette flavor preferences between current smokers, former smokers, and never-smokers and trends in the first flavor used across time of e-cigarette use initiation were also assessed.
The results showed that the proportion of first e-cigarette purchases that were fruit flavored increased from 17.8% of first purchases made before 2011 to 33.5% of first purchases made between June 2015 and June 2016.
Tobacco-flavored first purchases almost halved during this time (46.0% pre-2011 to 24.0% between 2015 and 2016). Fruit/fruit beverage (73.9 to 82.9% of sampled users), dessert/pastry (63.5 to 68.5% of sampled users), and candy, chocolate, or sweets (48.7 to 53.4% of sampled users) were the most popular currently used e-cigarette flavors.
Tobacco and menthol flavors, the two most popular flavors for initiating e-cigarette use prior to 2013, now rank as the 5th and 6th most popular currently used e-cigarette flavors, respectively.
The report concluded: “Adult frequent e-cigarette users in the USA who have completely switched from smoking cigarettes to using e-cigarettes are increasingly likely to have initiated e-cigarette use with non-tobacco flavors and to have transitioned from tobacco to non-tobacco flavors over time. Restricting access to non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors may discourage smokers from attempting to switch to e-cigarettes.”