Through the years, we’ve done several experiments with unusual vape flavours. Very often we’ve done this for a bit of fun, but sometimes the final results have surprised us. A good several years ago, for example, we went to E-Cigs with a small range of very unusual flavours. One of them 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 i also found the Cheese and Onion flavour disgusting. But some people actually liked it. The idea is, there’s 1000s of flavours on the market now. Some are unusual, and attract a tiny audience, but the main benefit of this really is that, no matter what your taste preference is, there’ll be something on the market that you’ll love. And that’s important, since the more you like vaping, as well as the further you depart from tobacco flavours, the more unlikely you might be to return to smoking.
Considering the fact that there’s a ridiculous number of vaping studies being published nowadays, there’s not plenty of research on the need for flavours in: There is certainly some, though. Market research of over 4000 vapers, lead by Konstantinos Farsalinos in 2013, found that 48.5% of vapers felt that restricting flavours would increase cravings for cigarettes, while 39.7% felt that fewer flavours will make it more unlikely to allow them to stop smoking.
Since that time, non-tobacco flavours have grown to be more important in initiation. In Konstantinos’ original survey, the vast majority of vapers started vaping with tobacco flavours, but a far more recent survey which considered the flavour preferences of over 70,000 vapers learned that non-tobacco flavours (in america) were the predominant choice when starting vaping. The study 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 discovered that menthol and tobacco flavours now rank in 5th and 6th place amongst adult vapers. In a press conference organised from the New Nicotine Alliance, Russell talked further concerning the results, saying:
“Evidence from your own studies suggest that the significantly higher proportion of smokers preferring to vape non-tobacco flavors go on to totally give up smoking cigarettes within 90 days.”
Quite simply, non-tobacco flavours lead to a higher success rate when switching completely from smoking to vaping. It has been supported with a more recent study by Buckell et al (published since this post was first written). Utilizing a discrete choice experiment with other 2000 adult vapers, the authors found a flavour ban on e-cigarettes would cause an increase in smoking rates.
Another smaller study by Pacek et al surveyed 240 teenagers who dual use (both vape and smoke). In their survey, 17% of young vapers said they might smoke more if flavours were limited to tobacco and menthol.
The idea that specific flavours may be important is supported by industry research by JUUL, which learned that vapers who used Mint or Menthol were 23% more prone to change to vaping compared to those who used tobacco flavours.
Could flavours assist dual vapers? Not everyone switches to vaping immediately. All things considered, the initial puff with an e-cigarette doesn’t mean your last puff over a tobacco cigarette. Research shows that 46% of dual vapers have jtsedy switched to e cigarettes after having a year, however for others normally it takes considerably longer.
My experience is the fact flavours will help dual vapers retain interest. I’ve seen those who still smoke several cigarettes per day experiment a great deal with different flavours. If flavours may help retain interest, then dual vapers will smoke less, hopefully not go back to 100% smoking and ultimately switch to 100% vaping. Perhaps, for some, it’s just a matter of discovering that perfect e-liquid (along with a large number of flavours available, which takes a bit of time).