Over the years, we’ve done several experiments with unusual vape flavours. Frequently we’ve done this for a bit of fun, but sometimes the outcomes have surprised us. A good few years ago, for instance, we went to Top E Cig with a small range of very unusual flavours. One of these was barbecue sauce flavour. As you’d expect, a lot of people absolutely hated it. But one elderly man told us it was the very first thing he’d tasted since having a stroke.
The same occurred with a Voop Juice range we made for April Fool’s day. These juices were deliberately designed to taste awful, and that i found the Cheese and Onion flavour disgusting. However, many people actually liked it. The thing is, there’s a large number of flavours on the market now. Some are unusual, and attract a small audience, but the main benefit of this is that, regardless of what your taste preference is, there’ll be something on the market that you’ll love. And that’s important, as the more you enjoy vaping, and the further you depart from tobacco flavours, the less likely you happen to be to go back to smoking.
Given that there’s a ridiculous variety of vaping studies being published nowadays, there’s not a huge amount of research on the significance of flavours in: There exists some, though. A survey of over 4000 vapers, lead by Konstantinos Farsalinos in 2013, discovered that 48.5% of vapers felt that restricting flavours would increase cravings for cigarettes, while 39.7% felt that fewer flavours would make it not as likely to allow them to stop smoking.
Ever since then, non-tobacco flavours are becoming more important in initiation. In Konstantinos’ original survey, nearly all vapers started vaping with tobacco flavours, but a more recent survey which considered the flavour preferences of more than 70,000 vapers learned that non-tobacco flavours (in the united states) were the predominant choice when starting vaping. The research determined that banning flavours can lead to a decline in people starting vaping and a rise in people switching back from vaping to smoking.
This is supported by research by Russell et al, which learned that menthol and tobacco flavours now rank in 5th and 6th place amongst adult vapers. In a press conference organised by the New Nicotine Alliance, Russell talked further regarding the results, saying:
“Evidence from the own research suggests that the significantly higher proportion of smokers who prefer to vape non-tobacco flavors continue to totally stop smoking cigarettes within 90 days.”
In other words, non-tobacco flavours lead to a higher success rate when switching completely from smoking to vaping. This has been supported with a more modern study by Buckell et al (published since this post was initially written). Using a discrete choice test out other 2000 adult vapers, the authors found a flavour ban on e-cigarettes would lead to a rise in smoking rates.
Another smaller study by Pacek et al surveyed 240 young adults who dual use (both vape and smoke). Inside their survey, 17% of young vapers said they might smoke more if flavours were confined to tobacco and menthol.
The notion that specific flavours might be important is supported by industry research by JUUL, which discovered that vapers who used Mint or Menthol were 23% more prone to change to vaping than those who used tobacco flavours.
Could flavours assist dual vapers? Not every person switches to vaping immediately. After all, the first puff with an e-cigarette doesn’t mean your last puff on a tobacco cigarette. Studies have shown that 46% of dual vapers have jtsedy switched to e cigarettes after a year, but also for others it may take much longer.
My personal experience is the fact flavours can help dual vapers retain interest. I’ve seen individuals who carry on and smoke a couple of cigarettes per day experiment a whole lot with assorted flavours. If flavours will help retain interest, then dual vapers will smoke less, hopefully not return to 100% smoking and ultimately change to 100% vaping. Perhaps, for many, it’s just a matter of finding that perfect e-liquid (along with a large number of flavours available, which takes some time).