Yale Study: High Schoolers Who Vape Prefer Flavors That Produce Cooling Sensation

In a study, Yale researchers found that Connecticut high schoolers who currently vape chose flavors that produce a cooling sensation in the mouth and throat.

NEW HAVEN — In an interesting conclusion, a research team led by Danielle Davis of the Yale University School of Medicine found that high schoolers in Connecticut are more likely to opt for cooling vapor flavors due to the sensations on the mouth and throat.

“We see that ingredients that produce a cooling sensory experience are added now to many e-cigarette flavors, like fruit and dessert flavors,” said Davis, an associate research scientist in psychiatry. “Given ingredients that produce a cooling sensation have been shown to reduce the harshness and irritation associated with nicotine, flavors that have a cooling component may make nicotine easier to inhale and lead to heavier use in youth.”

Davis said that the 2019 survey data “assessed use of e-cigarette flavors that produced cooling sensations by high schoolers who had vaped within the past 30 days.” Half of the high schoolers, or 51.6 percent, “reported vaping cooling flavors.”

“Vaping cooling flavors was associated with greater nicotine vaping and frequency of e-cigarette use,” notes a conclusion from the published study. “Assessing sensory experience, such as cooling, in addition to flavor category may more fully capture e-cigarette flavor use and its impacts on youth e-cigarette use behaviors.”

“As regulatory agencies, such as the FDA, move toward regulating menthol flavors in tobacco products, it is important to consider that flavor regulations should not focus only on particular flavor additives (e.g. menthol), but consider all additives that not only taste/smell like menthol, but create similar sensory experiences,” adds the study.

The study was published on Sept. 1, 2021, in the academic journal PLOS ONE. Other study contributors from Yale involved include Meghan E. Morean, Krysten W. Bold, Deepa Camenga, Grace Kong, Asti Jackson, Patricia Simon, and Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin.

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