New studies reveal the importance of flavored e-cigarettes when attempting to quit smoking. These are important findings because the head honcho at the FDA, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, has threatened the nascent e-cig industry with despotic hyper-regulation regarding flavored e-cig products. The reason for such regulation has to do with an “epidemic” of teen nicotine vaping that Gottlieb and the FDA deemed more dangerous and more important than adult tobacco use and the consequent diseases that come from smoking, like cancer, stoke and heart disease.
I’m a former smoker who quit by vaping custard flavored e-juice. Tobacco flavored e-juice is disgusting, I would never have used it to quit had it been my only option. Most people do not vape tobacco flavors, they vape flavors like fruit or dessert. If you go visit any one of the numerous online e-juice retailers you will see many different flavors because they sell. The FDA is concerned that delicious sounding flavored e-juice is a marketing gimmick to lure children to their addictive product, rather than an appeal to the tastes of adults who need help kicking the habit. Do you know that nicotine gum also comes in flavors like fruit and mint? Is the FDA targeting cinnamon or fruit flavored nicotine gum because children enjoy those flavors? No, they aren’t.
Retailers are the ones responsible for putting e-cigs illegally in the hands of minors, not the manufacturers. If Gottlieb and the FDA are worried about teen vaping, perhaps cracking down at the point-of-sale would me more effective than snuffing out the hope of smokers desperately looking for a way to kick their deadly habit. The science supports the idea that flavored e-juice helps smokers do just this.
Two recent survey-based behavioral studies conducted by the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR), an independent, U.K.-based research center, of both retail and online customers, indicate that non-tobacco-flavored JUULpods are helping adult smokers in their switching journey from combustible cigarettes. After 90 days of JUUL use, adult smokers who primarily used Mint or Mango demonstrated the highest switch rates from combustible cigarettes, respectively.
Here is a link to the study.
“These results add to a growing body of scientific studies confirming what makes common sense,” said Dr. David B. Abrams, a professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at NYU College of Global Public Health. “Smokers who find a satisfying alternative to cigarettes are more likely to switch if their vape device helps to forget the taste and smell of their cigarettes.”
“Flavors are an essential element of encouraging switching to vaping, and we need regulations that focus on a risk-benefit analysis rather than inadvertently perpetuating the cigarette epidemic,” said David Sweanor of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa.
Let’s hope that the FDA takes these studies seriously and allows manufacturers to continue selling flavored e-cig products because they help folks quit smoking. Isn’t that what these government agencies are supposed to do, work in the public interest?