Abigail Friedman and SiQing Xu looked at if there is an association between vaping uptake and subsequent smoking, and if it differs between individuals favouring tobacco vs non-tobacco flavoured vape products. The cohort study analysed data obtained from almost 18,000 participants.
They write: “With increasing e-cigarette use, flavoured e-cigarettes and their appeal to youths have become a prominent concern. Advocacy groups and the American Academy of Pediatrics emphasize that nontobacco flavours may motivate youth vaping (i.e., e-cigarette use) and increase conventional cigarette use (smoking). Given these concerns, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that it will enforce sales restrictions on e-cigarette cartridges with flavours other than tobacco and menthol unless the product has obtained Food and Drug Administration premarket authorisation.”
Then they add: “Industry representatives claim that such flavours are critical to attracting adults who smoke and want to quit. The tension between these perspectives—nontobacco flavours as a risk to youth vaping initiation vs a boon for adult smoking cessation—remains unresolved.”
It is telling that the pair see this debate as one between the industry and advocacy groups/public health organisations rather than acknowledge the wealth of studies from European sources and the grass roots advocacy organisations supporting vaping.
They do note, “randomised clinical trials show that e-cigarettes can aid in adult smoking cessation,” and that “these findings may apply to adolescents who smoke.”
That said, ultimately, they favour the perspective offered by a deeply flawed and laughable 2017 study by Jessica Barrington-Trimis, which states: “strong and consistent evidence of an association between initial e-cigarette use and subsequent cigarette smoking initiation.”
Concluding, they write: “This study’s findings support both sides of the current argument about the relationship between vaping and smoking: e-cigarette uptake is associated with increased youth and emerging adult smoking initiation but also increased cessation among prime-age adults who smoked at baseline.”
Such a finding would indicate that non-smoking vapers who go on to use tobacco products would appear to be those who would have done so regardless of initiating vaping. The key point that everyone should note is that flavoured eliquid products drive the quit process. They found that popular flavours are 2.3 times more effective than tobacco flavoured juices. That finding alone ought to prompt certain politicians around the world to reconsider their ongoing war on eliquid and tobacco harm reduction.
- “Associations of Flavored e-Cigarette Uptake With Subsequent Smoking Initiation and Cessation” by Abigail Friedman and SiQing Xu – [link]