June 29, 2020
Users of flavoured vapes have more than double the chance of quitting smoking compared to those who use tobacco-flavoured products, a new study suggests.
The US-based research paper – Associations of Flavoured E-Cigarette Uptake With subsequent Smoking and Initiation and Cessation – was based on data from 17,929 people between the ages of 12 and 54 and focused on vape and tobacco use.
The study found: “Favouring flavoured e-cigarettes was not associated with greater youth smoking initiation but was associated with greater adult smoking cessation specifically, among adults who smoked and began vaping, the odds of cessation for those favouring non-tobacco flavours were 2.3 times that of those who used tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes.”
It was conducted by Abigail S. Friedman, PhD and SiQing Xu, BS and published by the JAMA Network Open journal. The authors described the finding as “unexpected” but said that the findings could be key in helping smokers quit tobacco earlier in life when health outcomes are less affected by smoking.
The US study did not entirely exonerate the vape industry from affecting youth smoking rates overall but it did suggest that campaigns to ban vape flavours in the US and elsewhere are likely wrong-headed: “Banning flavours altogether maybe too blunt an instrument for the current problem. Although proponents of flavour bans have claimed that tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes are adequate to help individuals who smoke, these results call for evidence to support that claim before it is acted on.”