E-Cigarette Reviews and Rankings

New Study Shows Non-Smoking Teens Are Not Attracted to Electronic Cigarettes

According to a new study published in the Nicotine & Tobacco Research journal, non-smoking teenagers show very low interest in electronic cigarettes even when presented with a variety of enticing flavors.

e-cigarette-flavorsE-cigarette opponents have long been claiming that because of the plethora of attractive flavors e-liquid comes in, electronic cigarettes act as a gateway to smoking for non-smoking youth. However, despite their efforts to convince the general public that this is more than just a made-up theory, evidence clearly shows otherwise. A study published in September 2014 by UK-based charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found no evidence that e-cigs push teens to smoking. In November of last year, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data that confirmed electronic cigarettes do not act as a gateway. Finally, a scientific paper recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in December 2014 showed that vaping does not lead to tobacco use.

Choosing to simply ignore existing scientific evidence, e-cig opponents keep supporting their claims and always ask for more research on the subject. Well, here is some more then: a new study on the impact of e-cigarette flavors on non-smoking teenagers found that they have very low interest in using e-cigs even when they find the flavors appealing.

A team of researchers led by Professor Saul Shiffman of PinneyAssociates surveyed 216 non-smoking teenagers aged 13 to 17 and 432 adult smokers regarding their interest in a series of e-liquid flavors. They were presented with a list of e-cigarette flavors and asked to rate their interest in trying them on a scale of 0 to 10. Results showed the teens reported very low interest in using electronic cigarettes, which did not vary across flavors. “Flavors just didn’t seem to matter to these nonsmoking teens,” said Shiffman, a professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh.

The interest of adult smokers, although modest, was significantly higher for each of the e-cigarette flavors presented. It was greatest among recent e-cigarette users, followed by past users and never users. Recent e-cig users expressed increased interest in flavors such as vanilla bean, double espresso and raspberry, none of which appealed to non-smoking teens. The fact that adults are more interested in these “juvenile” flavors may seem surprising, but it had already been confirmed by a survey conducted by E-Cigarette Forum last summer. “Knowledge about which flavors appeal most to adult smokers without appealing to nonsmoking teens presents an opportunity to greatly reduce health risks among adult smokers without increasing the risks for youth” Dr. Shiffman said.

“Concerns about initiation of e-cigarette use by nonsmoking teens have focused on the expected and assumed appeal of flavors. It is important to replace assumptions with data. Our study shows that flavor descriptors, even those expected to appeal to youth, do not do so,” Shiffman said. “This is reassuring because nonsmoking teens would gain no health benefit from using e-cigarettes, since they don’t smoke. In contrast, adult smokers could dramatically reduce health risks by switching from tobacco cigarette smoking to e-cigarette use.”

While interesting, the findings of this study have little chance of being taken seriously by decision makers, as the research was supported by NJOY, a well-known electronic cigarette company. Pinney Associates revealed that “NJOY was involved in discussions of the study design but had no role in study execution, data collection, data analysis or writing of the published manuscript. The authors made all decisions related to the study.”

Source: Oxford Journals

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