A new study shows that users of flavored e-cigarettes – vapor devices – prefer having the flavors so much that if they were taken away from the choice of flavor, many would simply go back to smoking conventional cigarettes.
This is based in part on a study conducted by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.
The study examined whether regular vapers in Canada, England and the United States who use only non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes would support or oppose a ban on all flavors without tobacco and also, how they would potentially react to such a policy.
Health Canada is proposing a ban on flavored vapors supplied to users of vaping devices. Health Canada’s rationale is that the flavors make vaping appealing to young people, which is not good because flavored vapes still contain small amounts of nicotine.
The ITC study showed that vapers would continue to find ways to get their aromas even if there was a ban. About one in five said they would stop using vapers and start smoking cigarettes again.
This concept was shared earlier this year by Sudbury businessman Arthur Cavallin, a vaping store owner, former smoker and regular vaping user.
Cavallin said the proposal to ban vaping flavors could simply bring people back to conventional cigarettes. Cavallin told Sudbury.com that if people don’t get what they want from vaping, which he says is safer than smoking, then people might just go back to smoking.
“It’s based on the simple fact that they (Health Canada) claim it’s for our health, but look at the LCBO and flavored alcohol,” he said.
Critics have pointed the finger at the alcohol industry where dozens of new brands of juice and soft drink flavored alcohol coolers are now on the market, but nothing is being done to stop it.
Cavallin said if people can’t get their flavor choices while vaping, it will contribute to two things, both of which are worse in his opinion. One is that it will bring people back to smoking and the other option is that it will create a black market for flavored vapes made in unknown labs with unknown chemicals. He added that any ban would only encourage the black market to grow and that in turn would allow more young people to have access to flavored vapors.
This concern was echoed by one of the authors of the study.
“Our results raise the possibility that a ban on certain flavored vaping products may deter some adult smokers from vaping, with the possibility that they will resume smoking cigarettes, which are clearly much more harmful than vaping products, given that we know that at least half of regular smokers die from a disease caused by smoking, ”said Shannon Gravely, assistant research professor at ITC, who was the lead author of the study.