A recent survey of Canadians concluded flavors and nicotine strength are both extremely important to their efficacy as a smoking cessation tool.
Despite decades of persistent tobacco control education and support, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world. That doesn’t mean we haven’t gotten anywhere though, as most countries are in a much better position now than ever. Unfortunately, one casualty of this tobacco control effort in recent years has been the vaping industry. Instead of being heralded as a game-changing tool, it’s more commonly vilified as a mere alternative to smoking, or worse, a malicious gateway for teens to end up smokers. One regulation which has been gaining popularity across the world in recent years is an e-liquid flavor ban. However, new research out of Canada suggests these flavors, as well as high nicotine strength e-liquids, are both critically important for vaping to reach its full potential.
Anti-vapers dismiss the reports as unimportant in the face of the teenage vaping “epidemic,” while supporters point to the growing pile of evidence which suggests these concerns are mostly anecdotal. Regardless of what happens next, this research is a win for the vaping industry as it proves once again that not only is vaping more than a mere alternative form of tobacco, but also a vitally important tool in the fight against smoking.
The report was conducted by a team of researchers led by Dr. Chris Lalonde, the Academic Research Advisor for Right for Vapers. The team made surveys available to vapers on-line for a month earlier this year. They collected over 2000 responses from Canadian vapers about their relationship with vaping flavors. The team concluded much of what other similar reports have found, including that smokers first switching to vaporizers prefer very high nicotine strength e-liquids as well as fruity and sweet flavors. Making matters worse, the most popular flavors are the ones already banned by Health Canada.
Dr. Lalonde pulled no punches with his assessment of how Canadian legislators have been so misguided. “For an adult smoker, a preference is not a matter of this or that, the desirability of vaping products is what drives a change in behavior that might just save their life. It is critical that their voice is heard in this policy debate. For this reason, we are making the data set open and available to the public.” A study looking into the impact of vaping flavors on their effectiveness concluded vaping flavor bans are mainly benefiting Big Tobacco, as many vapers revert to smoking without their preferred options.
Evidence For E-Cigarettes
It’s a shame more legislators seemingly don’t take a good look at the peer-reviewed evidence we have on vaping. For starters, we’ve known going back as far as 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking thanks to a report by Public Health England. This report led the way for many others, including a report from Roswell Park Cancer Institute from a few months back which concluded the toxicants in smoke are 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor. However, nothing proves the harm reduction value of vaping quite like the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which concluded the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is about 57,000 times higher than a demographically similar vaper.
When we look past the harm reduction value, we still find a ton to love about e-cigarettes. For instance, a report from the University of Louisville wanted to test all the most common smoking cessation tools to determine the most likely to work. After testing everything from cold turkey through prescription drugs, the team concluded it was none other than vaping, which has the best odds of success. But many critics of vaping are less concerned with the value vaping provides as they are worried about the impact on teens. Luckily a report of over 60,000 teens conducted by Action on Smoking and Health found only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever picking up a vaporizer more than a few times.
The fight for vaping rights has only been getting more challenging as time goes on. While we have more research backing our claims, the media continues to create a profound misunderstanding of the benefits provided by e-cigarettes. If we genuinely want to end the smoking epidemic once and for all, we simply must work toward better solutions. That involves utilizing all our best tools, including vaporizers. The best way to secure and protect our vaping rights is teaching as many people as we can about the value provided by e-cigarettes.
Do you agree vaping flavors provide significant value to vaping? What’s the most essential part about vaping for you? What should we do differently when trying to educate people about e-cigarettes? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.