Flavoured e-liquids are popular among adult vapers – so why are some governments still trying to ban them?26.05.21
The survey, which polled more than 3,300 European e-cigarette users, also found that around 65% of vapers use fruit or dessert flavoured liquids.
The IEVA, a pan-European association aimed at uniting and representing national associations, companies, manufacturers and wholesalers in the vaping industry, found 81% of vape users surveyed have completely stopped using tobacco, with a further 12% having reduced smoking with the help of e-cigarettes.
Numerous health bodies agree vaping poses a significantly reduced risk than traditional combustible cigarettes, with Public Health England asserting e-cigarettes are at least 95% safer. The public health benefits associated with adult smokers transitioning to vapes could be enormous.
The study also reveals that the wide variety of flavours available to adult vape users appears to be an important reason for their use. 40% of respondents use fruit flavoured liquids, while a quarter prefer other non-tobacco flavours. Just over a third (35%) vape with tobacco-flavoured e-liquids.
Participants were also asked how they would react if all e-liquid flavours except tobacco were banned, an increasingly common but misinformed proposal some government bodies globally have opted to take up under the pretext of preventing youths from vaping.
Youth access prevention is an serious issue, but the idea that teens are overwhelmingly drawn to vaping because of the flavours has already been debunked. Worse still, banning e-liquid flavours has demonstrably shown it can push adult vapers into using black market alternatives or even return to smoking.
The figures from this survey bear out – alarmingly, just under one in 10 said they would even start smoking again, while 31% said they would simply buy other liquid flavours on the black market. Only 20% of vape users said they would switch to tobacco flavours.
Yet some governments fail to recognise this as a cause for concern. The Netherlands is pushing forwards with a ban on flavoured e-liquids, despite the startling risks of pushing adult vape users back into smoking.
Imperial Brands, Fontem Ventures’ parent company, submitted a response to the Dutch government’s proposal to ban flavoured vaping products, highlighting the negative public health impact a ban could cause.
The submission highlighted that there is no credible or robust evidence that a flavour ban for e-cigarettes would contribute to improving public health, and moreover, real-world data does not support the ‘gateway theory’ that e-cigarettes could be driving young people into smoking. Other, independent, experts also criticised the Netherlands plans for prohibition. It’s crucial we stick to the facts, not fiction, when it comes to responsibly regulating the vaping industry. Limiting consumer access to products that are potentially less harmful than tobacco, such as flavoured vapes, only serves to slow progress towards achieving reduced smoking rates.