Vape Juice Flavors and Harm Reduction

One of the major concerns of public health officials and advocacy groups regarding vaping is the inclusion of flavoring in e-juice. It is often reported that vape juice flavors are an industry problem and are causing more harm than help, but, the data argue otherwise. 

Flavored Vape Juice Appears to Be First-Choice of quitting smokers

According to a recent study published in the Harm Reduction Journal, a health journal that specializes in focusing on the study of harm reduction and products associated with it, "Restricting access to non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors may discourage smokers from attempting to switch to e-cigarettes." [1]. Let's find out why.

In a study that featured a survey of over 22,000 vapers from the United States, researchers learned that approximately 75% of those surveyed were vapers that had completely switched over from smoking. The remaining 25% of those surveyed were either vapers that continue to smoke or people who had vaped before but do not do so on a consistent basis. Those that responded as full-time vapers, or former smokers, had some surprising answers when it came to the flavors they chose when switching, and their answers are promising for public health.

According to the data, the proportion of full-time vapers that had purchased a "non-tobacco" flavored vape juice in their first e-cigarette purchase increased from 17% in 2011 to 33% in 2016. The drastic jump in percentage represents a growing number of vapers that have chosen to quit smoking with fruit, beverage, dessert, or other flavors that are not tobacco or menthol based. While the mainstream media often reports that flavors have no significant impact on helping people quit, that they only entice teens to use nicotine products, there is real data that squanders those claims.

In a recent article posted on the American Council on Science and Health website, evidence suggests that most teens that try vaping aren't using nicotine at all. In fact, "An NIH study found that among the 28% of high school seniors vaping, 52% were vaping just flavor" [2]. The use of some simple math would show you that 52% of 28 is around 14.5. Meaning, 14.5% of high schoolers have tried a vape with nicotine in it. With teen smoking at an all-time-low, and with the use of nicotine in vapes at an even lower number than is often reported, it's looking like flavors aren't really having the impact on teens that the media is claiming they are.

In further regards to the Harm Reduction Journal report, it appears as though flavors are actually helping vapers get away from cigarettes, and in significant numbers at that. While it's true that vaping is not 100% safe (we will never tell you that), there is real scientific data that shows the market of flavors is actually making a positive impact on public health. As the researchers point out in the conclusion of their study, "access to a variety of non-tobacco flavored e-liquid may be important for encouraging and assisting adults to use e-cigarettes in place of conventional cigarettes.", which is great information to have available to the public.

Spread the word. Call your Representative. Tell the world. Vaping helped you quit smoking, it helped me quit smoking, and if we continue to advocate for the harm-reduction vaping promotes, it could help every smoker switch to a less-harmful alternative.





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