Flavors Under Attack Once Again

On August 29th a group of US State Attorney Generals got together and sent the FDA a letter in response to the FDA listening session held on August 22nd

In this letter the main advice given to the FDA is to ban all non-tobacco flavors in ENDS products, citing the same old claim “flavors attract youth”

But more and more studies show that adults prefer flavors and are more successful in quitting cigarettes for good when flavors are available.

A recent study in the US that was published on pubmed this past May concluded that “E-cigarette sales restrictions on non-tobacco flavors, including menthol, may eliminate products preferred by adults who vape, including those who never smoked, without discouraging adults who currently smoke and never vaped from trying e-cigarettes.”

The study also showed that the flavors that were most appealing were strawberry, menthol, peppermint and vanilla. 

Another updated study, a new and updated revision of the “Case for Flavours in Tobacco Harm Reduction” by Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, originally published in 2022, has been newly released for 2023.

“The latest report contains updated studies on flavours, showcasing the most recent and up to date research, including the findings of a longitudinal study on non – tobacco vs tobacco flavours, and the effects on smoking abstinence. The study also describes how vaping non-tobacco flavours was not associated with youth smoking initiation but was associated with increased adult smoking cessation.”

And here again, another study out of the UK shows concluded that “Text-message support with tailored advice on flavour is a promising intervention combination for smokers using an e-cigarette in a quit attempt.”

So if science clearly shows that flavors are crucial when it comes to quitting combustibles the question I have for these 33 Attorney Generals is, did you even consider the adults when you wrote this plea to the FDA?

Clearly there are better ways to approach and deal with youth use. Dr. Colin Mendelsohn recently wrote a sensible approach to do just that in his “Fresh approach: A pragmatic 7-point plan to address vaping in schools” his key tips in this article are sensible and easily explained. Maybe these AG’s need to take a look at this sound advice and take a moment to truly understand the chaos these flavor bans create for adults that vape.


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Vaping can save 200 million lives and flavours play a key role in helping smokers quit. However, policymakers want to limit or ban flavours, putting our effort to end smoking-related deaths in jeopardy.

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