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One in three vapers fear flavour ban will lead them back to cigarettes: survey

April 9, 2023

Photo: iStock

One in three vapers fear a ban on flavoured devices and liquids will lead them back to cigarettes, which could see close to 1.5 million former smokers, based on the number of adult vape users (4.3m) reported by the Office of National Statistics last year, returning to their habit.

A poll of 2,000 adults who use vapes, commissioned by the UKVIA, found 76 per cent only started to quit their smoking habit, and that eight in ten vapers (83 per cent) claim that flavoured vapes help them pack in their smoking habits.

While 27 per cent agree there is a real need to tackle youth vaping, nearly four in 10 (37%) want more effective enforcement handed out to retailers who are selling them to children – rather than an outright ban on flavours.

“The research shows there is a reliance on vapes to help smokers quit – and flavours have a role to play. While we are supportive of attempts to eradicate youth smoking, having a ban on flavours could have a negative impact on those who are attempting to quit,” John Dunne, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA), said.

“Often with these types of policies trying to stamp out one problem can cause another, and it shows many adult vapers are concerned about what they are hearing from the government.”

The research also revealed the most popular flavours amongst adult vapers were the very ones that the government is looking to consider banning. Whilst strawberry is the nation’s favourite overall, other fruity flavours dominate the top five – including blueberry, watermelon, cherry and raspberry. Many also cited some more unusual preferences like lychee, Earl Grey and even a Bloody Mary.

Tobacco and menthol flavourings the most common one’s quitters turned to, although 65 per cent didn’t receive any advice on the best flavours to help them on their quest to give up smoking.

And 83 per cent think having this guidance would be an important part of the quitting journey. Within the separate poll of 1,000 smokers, conducted via OnePoll.com, it found 36 per cent are currently trying to reduce the amount they use cigarettes by increasing how much they vape. And 75 per cent of these are confident it will help them to be successful on their quitting journey.

Dunne added: “It is important to offer those who are trying to quit smoking the appropriate advice, including flavours, to support them during the process. We know that going cold turkey is not an option for many, and it shows a considerable amount are having success with flavoured vapes to help reduce, and ultimately cut out, their reliance on cigarettes.”