The senators who include Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), are criticizing the lack of action that the agency has taken so far in order to regulate e-liquid flavours and prevent their access to teens. The letter emphasizes on flavours such as gummy bear, cotton candy, peanut butter cup, and cookies ‘n cream as examples of the type of flavours that would lure children to try vaping.
Earlier this year, the FDA together with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had launched a consultation in order to gather feedback on how to best regulate flavours. Echoing what Gottlieb had said days earlier, the agency had pointed out that it aimed to limit flavours’ appeal to adolescents, whilst considering the role that they are having in helping adult smokers take the leap from smoking to vaping.
Studies indicating that restricting flavours may be detrimental to public health
In response to this, Attorney General of Iowa Thomas Miller, and four Public Health experts amongst whom renowned anti-smoking activists Clive Bates and David Sweanor, had sent a briefing and letter to Dr. Gottlieb explaining how in reality, flavours should be associated with public health benefits not harm.
In line with these arguments, and also previous research on the topic, a recent large scale peer reviewed study published in the Harm Reduction Journal, seems to confirm that restricting e-liquid flavours may discourage smokers from switching to the proven safer alternatives that could save their life.
Adult vapers prefer non-tobacco flavours
This study was conducted by the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) and funded by Fontem Ventures. Looking at data gathered from over 20,000 adult frequent vapers in the United States, this study is one of the major ones to look at flavours.
“The results show that non-tobacco flavours, especially fruit based flavours, are being increasingly preferred to tobacco flavours by adult vapers who have completely switched from combustible cigarettes to vapour products,” said Dr Christopher Russell, Deputy Director of CSUR, who led the research.
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