America is in the grip of a panic about youth vaping caused by billions of dollars funding anti-vape propaganda. As a result, some regions decided to pass strict legislation banning the sale of any flavoured e-liquid other than tobacco flavours. Latest research finds that these bans haven’t had any impact on teen vaping – and has probably dissuaded adult smokers from switching.
“Flavoured tobacco sales restrictions and teen e-cigarette use” was published in the scientific journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The authors all work at the University of California, a home to a lot of anti-vape research.
The research team looked at the impact of strict anti-ecig legislation in seven American cities during 2018 to 2019. The measured how ever-use of electronic cigarettes by students changed during the period and compared that with students living in areas that didn’t have floured e-liquid bans.
They noted the results showed “the adjusted odds of current and ever e-cigarette use did not significantly change among students exposed and unexposed to a [juice flavour ban]”.
They found that when returning to these cities a year after the monitoring period, there was still not change in the rates of ever-use vaping (just trying an e-cigarette once).
“Flavoured Tobacco Sales Restrictions (the juice flavour bans) were not associated with a decrease in current or ever e-cigarette use among high school students in the California Bay Area one-year post-implementation. Potential explanatory factors are that ease of access to e-cigarettes and using marijuana in an e-cigarette increased.”
Despite them finding no impact, they still called for “a comprehensive approach”, including policies, media campaigns, education programs, and cessation tools, “to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic”.
Research from University College London revealed the fact that there is no “youth e-cigarette epidemic” in California or the United States as a whole.
Campaign group Americans for Tax Reform commented: “These findings are prominent, as proponents of these restrictions claim that flavoured vaping products are the cause of youth vaping, and therefore must be banned to reduce youth use.”
In 2021, Dr Abigail Friedman, Yale School of Public Health, looked at the impact of flavour bans and found that they almost doubled the rates of teens smoking tobacco products.
Another study in 2021 showed, “that vapers who used sweet flavours were more likely to transition away from cigarette smoking and quit cigarette use”.
Americans for Tax Reform added: “Vaping has the potential to save 6.6 million
American lives. Flavour bans prevent these lives from being saved and are shown to have no impact on youth use. Flavour prohibition is entirely the wrong approach for lawmakers to take with novel reduced-risk nicotine products.”
The European Union is currently moving towards banning flavoured vapes in response to a concerted effort to distort the truth. Hopefully, the United Kingdom will not follow them down this path.