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Last December, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) pertaining to e-liquid flavours, in order to gather feedback on how to best regulate them. The agency had said that it aims to limit flavours’ appeal to adolescents, whilst considering the role that they are having in helping adult smokers switch from smoking to vaping.

The data compiled by Farsalinos’s survey indicated that all smoking subgroups, including former smokers who were using e-cigarettes at the time of smoking cessation, preferred non-tobacco e-liquid flavours.
The ANPRM gave everyone the opportunity to submit commentaries, opinions, data and proposals, and renowned tobacco harm reduction researcher Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, responded by submitting data from a large scale flavours survey and study. The research in question was designed by Farsalinos and his colleague Dr. Christopher Russell, and consisted of adult individuals aged 18 and above who had ever used an e-cigarette, (even a single puff).

The data compiled by the survey indicated that all smoking subgroups, including former smokers who were using e-cigarettes at the time of smoking cessation, preferred non-tobacco e-liquid flavours. Fruit and dessert/pastry/bakery flavors were the most prevalent choices of the study respondents.

Therefore, contrary to media reports and in line with previous research, this survey indicated that such flavours are not necessarily particularly appealing to under age users as is generally assumed, but also to adults who are using the devices for smoking cessation.

Research indicating that flavoured e-cigs help smokers quit

In line with this, a recent large scale peer reviewed study conducted by the Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR) and published in the Harm Reduction Journal, suggested that restricting e-liquid flavours may discourage smokers from switching to the proven safer alternatives that could save their life.

Similarly, a 2017 study from Yale School of Public Health and the Centre for Health Policy at the Imperial College in London, had indicated that if flavours had to be banned in e-cigarettes many former smokers would revert back to smoking. “Our results are timely and policy-relevant, suggesting which flavor bans are likely to be most effective in protecting public health,” said the researchers at the time.

Read Further: E-Cigarette Research

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