Flavoured electronic cigarettes are sweeping the nation and grasping the attention of e-cigarette users everywhere! A recent study that appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health further proved what e-cigarette users have been stating for quite some time:
A wide variety of e-cigarette flavours is a must for those trying to quit smoking.
The efforts being made to decrease the amount of e-cigarette flavours available will more than likely be counterproductive. The article explains that almost the entire group of e-cigarette users that were interviewed expressed a desire for multiple e-cigarette flavours. Below is a summary of the article, how the interviews were conducted and what the outcome results were.
An interview was conducted on a large group of participants that were separated into two groups: dual users (those who use both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes) and those who only use e-cigarettes). Some were trying to quit smoking others were non-smokers. The interview contained a series of questions regarding the importance of e-cigarette flavours to the participants.
Almost all of the participants said they used fruity flavoured e-cigarettes, mainly the non-smokers. Seven of every ten participants also said that they would change their flavours at least once throughout the day; this was also common in non-smokers.
About half of the participants claimed that reducing the amount of available flavours would lead to an increase in tobacco cravings. Adult smokers or non-smokers came to the conclusion that the wide variety of flavour options available for e-cigarettes is necessary in order to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.
The interview was conducted by a group of researchers. Leading the group was Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos. This group of experts designed a questionnaire to determine some facts on how important flavour variety is to e-cigarette users, amongst other questions. Just to give you an example, here are two of the questions asked in the interview process:
- How difficult was it to find flavours that you thoroughly enjoyed when you first started using e-cigarettes?
- What are/were your favourite flavours and why did you switch between multiple throughout a single day?
Amongst these questions there were others that pertained to how the flavour variety affected the participant’s efforts in quitting cigarette smoking, how long it took them to do so, etc. Questions pertaining to the participant’s age, ethnicity and level of education were also used in order to provide information on the user(s) background.
On top of the “live and in person” interview, the survey was also placed online through Survey Monkey for about fifteen days for anyone and everyone to participate in. About 4,618 people came and participated in this survey and 4,515 of them indicated their smoking status by choice.
The interview contained about 90 per cent ex – smokers, which is logical considering the participants were collected from e-cigarette groups (both online and live groups). Due to the participants being found through these groups, many of them are already non-smokers who simply support the use of e-cigarettes. This is a minor limitation of this survey but it is nothing that will drastically alter the results since the survey is meant to determine the importance of flavours in e-cigarettes in comparison to the success of quitting tobacco cigarettes.
The dual smokers who participated in the survey expressed a decrease from 20 cigarettes daily to about 4 cigarettes daily when they began using an e-cigarette product. That is an 80 per cent decrease. The results showed that those who were dual smokers preferred to use e-cigarettes that resembled an actual cigarette. They also preferred e-cigarettes that contained a high amount of nicotine in order to handle their cravings for the first few weeks or months. Non – smokers prefer to use “third generation” models which are models that don’t really resemble a cigarette and contain a lower amount of nicotine than the e-cigarettes used by dual smokers.
The outcome of the flavour preferences as a whole group was rather close in terms of percentage to one another. In total, about 69 per cent of participants opted for fruit flavours; right behind it with 61 per cent is sweet flavours. Following that with an overall 44 percentage rate was varied tobacco flavours (most common in those just starting out with e-cigarettes). When first starting e-cigarettes, 61 per cent of the participants did back that up by stating tobacco flavours was their first choice, followed by fruit flavours.
Most of the participants – 68 per cent – stated that they did switch their flavour preferences every day and sometimes multiple times throughout the day as well. However this circumstance occurred more in the non-smokers than it did in the dual smokers. The most common reason for the flavour switches, with a 68 percentage rate, was that users liked the variety. It stopped them from getting bored of a flavour. About half of the participants also explained that the flavours became dull if smoked for an extended amount of time.
The overall result was that a variety of flavours is useful in the process of quitting smoking. About 69 per cent of participants said that if the flavour options decreased, there would be a greater desire to smoke tobacco cigarettes due to cravings. In occurrence with this percentage, around 44 per cent of participants said that flavour reduction would result in them being less likely to quit smoking or continue their use of e-cigarettes.
Fruit Flavours and Sweet Flavours Prevail!
By now it is obvious that the use of multiple fruit and sweet flavours often leads to a decrease in the smoking of tobacco cigarettes. However, a common concern with these fruity and sweet flavours is that they become attractive to young children. This common concern comes from past tobacco cigarette advertisement methods. Studies in the past have shown that flavoured tobacco cigarette products were mainly attractive to the youth and because of this, flavoured tobacco cigarettes were banned. That being said, the author of the article pointed out that e-cigarettes are absolutely tobacco free and that there is no evidence that depicts the same conclusion as the flavoured tobacco cigarettes. Also, evidence shows that flavoured e-cigarettes and e-cigarettes in general are not attractive to the youth or to non-smokers.
Most e-cigarette users use tobacco flavoured e-cigarettes as a way to transition out of tobacco cigarettes and into a safer alternative like the e-cigarettes. Overtime, the tobacco flavour should become less appealing because the flavour is not coming from actual tobacco. Due to this fact, many people will slowly make the transition into fruit flavoured e-cigarettes to draw away from the tobacco flavour. Most adults have concluded that the variety in e-cigarette flavours was and is of great importance to their cigarette – kicking success. Due to there being zero evidence on the other side of this argument, it seems unnecessary to decrease the flavour options in e-cigarettes and a complete waste of time.
One “problem” with this survey was that the selected e-cigarette device that was being tested, was a first generation e-cigarette (an e-cigarette that looks like a real cigarette). The problem with this is that most of the e-cigarette users who participated in the survey are well past this generation and prefer newer generations. The reason first generation e-cigarettes were used in the survey is because that is what was available at the time that the survey was being made, once it became time to conduct the survey, new generations of e-cigarettes had already come out and have proved to be more enjoyable and have more power than the first generation e-cigarettes. Again, this is just a minor limitation.
The study was used to determine how important flavour variety is to an e-cigarette user. The results showed that almost all of the participants liked having so many flavour options because it gave them the option to switch if they got sick of a flavour. They also had the option to transition from tobacco flavours to new flavours which makes e-cigarettes more enjoyable and is a key factor in the process of quitting tobacco cigarettes. In order to confirm these results, other studies need to occur but for right now, this study gives us a great insight to the world of flavoured e-cigarettes. The results from this study practically prove that flavoured e-cigarettes increase the likely hood of a decrease in tobacco cigarette users. Banning flavoured e-cigarettes seems like it would do much more harm than good for the health of society, so why are we still considering it?