In fact, in line with previous findings, a recent US study by the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) found that for every 0.7 milliliters of e-cigarette e-liquid that goes unsold due to restrictions on vapes, 15 additional traditional cigarettes are sold.
The study which is in the process of being peer reviewed at Social Science Research Network, involved a large-scale, long-term analysis of policies and sales data. It concluded that certain measures targeting vaping products may have unintended consequences, potentially driving users to switch to conventional cigarettes, which are considerably more harmful.
The substitution effect identified by the study was particularly pronounced among cigarette brands popular with individuals aged 20 and under. This led to the conclusion that flavour restrictions could potentially increase smoking rates among both young people and adults.
The research highlights that policies intended to reduce nicotine-related harm may in fact exacerbate the problem. Abigail S. Friedman, the study’s first author and an associate professor in the YSPH Department of Health Policy & Management, reiterated that while both smoking and vaping carry health risks, the available evidence indicates that smoking is substantially more harmful.
To this effect, authorities should bear in mind that the public health costs of vape policies may outweigh their intended benefits, and the effectiveness of such policies and their potential negative impact on public health need to be questioned. Sadly Australia is doing the exact opposite. Australian authorities are ignoring any expert opinions which question their current strategy, sticking their heads in the sand, and insisting on doing more of what is already failing miserably.
Australian Experts Send Comprehensive Review on Vaping to Local Authorities