San Francisco’s flavour ban led to a spike in smoking rates.
As flavour bans are growing in popularity around the world, the current study aimed to determine the effect of flavours on smokers. Titled, “Effects of Electronic Cigarette E-Liquid Flavouring on Cigarette Craving,” the researchers randomized participants in two groups, one group using flavoured e-cigarettes and the second one using unflavoured versions, for one week.
The study subjects in the different groups did not report experiencing differences in cigarette cravings, experiences of using e-cigarettes, or smoking cessation intentions/motivations . However, the short duration of the study, the researchers said that further studies need to be conducted to determine whether any differences would emerge over longer periods and whether there would be any effects on smoking cessation.
SF’s flavour ban increased smoking rates
Meanwhile, a study looking into San Francisco’s flavour ban reported alarming findings. Titled, “The Impact of a Comprehensive Tobacco Flavour Ban in San Francisco Among Young Adults,” the current study was conducted with the aim of determining the impact of the ban on tobacco use behavior. A sample of 247 San Francisco residents were surveyed about their e-cigarette and tobacco use, before and after the flavour ban.
The study found that while the ban did lead to a decline in e-cigarettes and cigars sales, it sadly also caused a spike in smoking rates. Additionally, the researchers found that the measure was not enforced properly and 65% of participants reported being able to obtain flavoured products in multiple ways.
“These findings suggest that comprehensive local flavor bans, by themselves, cannot sharply reduce the availability or use of flavored tobacco products among residents. Nevertheless, local bans can still significantly reduce overall e-cigarette use and cigar smoking but may increase cigarette smoking,” concluded the study.
Read Further: PsyArXiv Preprints