The impact of flavors variability on e-cigarette experience

An online survey published in a medical journal

 

            A new study on e-cigarettes was published today in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The study from Dr Farsalinos and his group evaluated the impact of flavors variability on e-cigarette experience in dedicated vapers, through an online survey.

            From 4618 participants, more than 90% were former smokers, while the rest were dual users. On average, 3 different types of flavors were regularly used by participants, with former smokers switching between flavors more frequently compared to dual users. At initiation of e-cigarette use, tobacco flavors were more popular, while subsequently there was a switch to fruit and sweet flavors. Participants rated flavors variability as “very important” (score 4 out of 5) in their effort to reduce or completely substitute smoking. Almost half of the population reported that restricting variability would increase craving for cigarettes and would make efforts to substitute smoking more difficult. Finally, the number of flavors used was an independent predictor of smoking abstinence.

            The study (which can be downloaded for free here) is important because it is a peer-reviewed publication of what all vapers know: flavors are an important part of e-cigarettes’ success and pleasure perceived by vapers. Adults also like flavors, and this study shows that flavors are marketed because there is a demand by regular users. They are important for vapers’ efforts to stay off cigarettes and they are not targeting youngsters (as accused by the news media and several political groups). Considering the fact that adoption of e-cigarettes by youngsters is minimal (and mostly observed in smokers), any regulation that would restrict flavors variability would be inappropriate. It would cause harm to vapers while no public health benefits would be observed in any other population group. Instead, restrictions to the use of e-cigarettes by youngsters should be imposed, while flavors variability should be maintained both for current users and for smokers who should be tempted to use e-cigarettes as an alternative habit.

 

 

 

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