An online survey of 240 young U.S. adults aged between 18 and 29, asked the participants to predict their use of two products they already used, e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes, in response to hypothetical restrictions such as e-liquid flavour bans and nicotine limits.
About 47% of respondents said that in response to nicotine restrictions in e-cigarettes they would increase their use of traditional cigarettes. About 22% said that if regulations limited the customizability of devices, such as features allowing users to adjust nicotine dose or vapor temperature, they would vape less and smoke more tobacco cigarettes.
About 17% said that if e-liquid flavours were to be limited to tobacco and menthol flavors, they would vape less and smoke more traditional cigarettes.
Similarly, about 17% percent said that if e-liquid flavours were to be limited to tobacco and menthol flavors, they would vape less and smoke more traditional cigarettes. The study’s lead author and an assistant professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke, Lauren Pacek, Ph.D., said that although the survey was small and not designed to predict e-cigarette use across the U.S., the data suggest that when considering changes to e-cig regulations, lawmakers must consider their potential downstream effects.
“The FDA now has regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and we know that some communities have taken action to ban flavored e-cigarette products,” said Pacek.
“We wanted to take a first pass at seeing what users’ anticipated responses to new regulations might be,” Pacek said. “Our findings suggest that while some regulations, such as banning certain flavors to limit appeal to adolescents, might improve outcomes for those young users, the new regulations might have unintended consequences with other portions of the population.”
Bans could lead to unintended consequences on other users
“It’s likely some potential new regulations on e-cigarettes will result in a net good for the whole population, such as limiting flavors that might entice young users, improving safety standards, or mandating that liquids come in child-proof containers,” added Pacek.
“However, our findings suggest that there should also be thoughtful consideration to potential unintended consequences that could affect other subsets of users of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.”
Read Further: Medical Press