Doctors Farsalinos and Russell made the submission to the FDA. The pair conducted the research in conjunction with George Lagoumintzis, and Konstantinos Poulas.
Farsalinos said: “As you may know, I am always trying my best to submit comments whenever there is this possibility, raising concerns and presenting potential problems with proposed regulations throughout the world.”
“The sample consisted of individuals aged 18 and older living in the US who have ever used an e-cigarette (even a single puff). They were invited to complete an online questionnaire.”
As vapers, we appreciate that having a good flavoured juice is essential to helping us move away from smoking. The research states: “A major characteristic of the e-cigarette market is the availability of a variety of flavourings in e-liquids. Besides tobacco-like flavours, the consumer can choose flavours consisting of fruits, sweets, drinks and beverages and many more. This is thought to be a major feature accounting for the appeal of e-cigarettes to adult smokers as an alternative to continuing to smoke cigarettes.”
Flavours present a problem for the FDA. Campaigning groups have focused in on it as part of their fear-driven ‘think of the children’ agenda. This is why this study is so important. Although other research reports that one the main reasons youths initiate vaping is for the sweet flavours, it doesn’t tell the tale of how vital these flavours are to adults reducing their harm from tobacco smoking.
Through online questioning, the team obtained responses from 69,233 people. Being that this was a submission to the FDA, those living outside of the USA were excluded from the data.
Just “5.2% of the study sample reported being never smokers”, although it probably indicates they may have become smokers it impossible to state this with certainty. What it does highlight is the nonsense behind any claim that vaping is roping in large cohorts of never smokers for a lifetime of nicotine addiction – as claimed by certain pressure groups.
The team concluded: “this cross-sectional study of a very large sample of adult US e-cigarette users, most of which were former smokers, identified the importance of non-tobacco flavours in e- cigarette use initiation and sustained use, and their contribution to smoking cessation and relapse prevention. This information should be considered by regulators in order to avoid unintentional adverse effects of over-restrictive regulation on e-cigarette flavours.”
The full study can be read here.