Through the years, we’ve done several experiments with unusual vape flavours. Frequently we’ve done this for a bit of fun, but sometimes the results have surprised us. A good couple of years ago, as an example, we went to Best Vapor E Cig with a small range of very unusual flavours. One of them was barbecue sauce flavour. As you’d expect, most people absolutely hated it. But one elderly man told us it was the very first thing he’d tasted since having a stroke.
The identical occurred with a Voop Juice range we designed for April Fool’s day. These juices were deliberately created to taste awful, and i also found the Cheese and Onion flavour disgusting. However some 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 benefit of this is that, regardless of what your taste preference is, there’ll be something out there that you’ll love. And that’s important, as the more you love vaping, as well as the further you move away from tobacco flavours, the more unlikely you might be to go back to smoking.
Considering 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 exists some, though. A survey of more than 4000 vapers, lead by Konstantinos Farsalinos in 2013, learned that 48.5% of vapers felt that restricting flavours would increase cravings for cigarettes, while 39.7% felt that fewer flavours will make it less likely to allow them to stop smoking.
Ever since then, 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 much more recent survey which looked at the flavour preferences well over 70,000 vapers found that non-tobacco flavours (in the US) were the predominant choice when starting vaping. The analysis concluded that banning flavours could lead to a decrease 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 found 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 concerning the results, saying:
“Evidence from our own studies suggest that a significantly higher proportion of smokers preferring to vape non-tobacco flavors go on to fully stop smoking cigarettes within 3 months.”
Put simply, non-tobacco flavours cause a higher success rate when switching completely from smoking to vaping. It has been backed up by a more recent study by Buckell et al (published since this post was first written). Using a discrete choice experiment with other 2000 adult vapers, the authors found a flavour ban on e-cigarettes would result in a rise in smoking rates.
Another smaller study by Pacek et al surveyed 240 teenagers 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 concept that specific flavours may be important is supported by industry research by JUUL, which learned that vapers who used Mint or Menthol were 23% very likely to switch to vaping as opposed to those who used tobacco flavours.
Could flavours assist dual vapers? Not everybody switches to vaping immediately. After all, the first puff upon an smokeless cigarette doesn’t mean your last puff on a tobacco cigarette. Research shows that 46% of dual vapers have jtsedy switched to e cigarettes after having a year, however for others it may take much longer.
My own experience is the fact flavours will help dual vapers retain interest. I’ve seen those who continue to smoke several cigarettes a day experiment a whole lot with various flavours. If flavours may help retain interest, then dual vapers will smoke less, hopefully not return to 100% smoking and eventually change to 100% vaping. Perhaps, for some, it’s just a matter of finding that perfect e-liquid (with thousands of flavours out there, that can take a while).