Brussels, 12.09.2022. A survey conducted by the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) among its members found that 97% of respondents prefer vaping flavours or a combination of flavours and tobacco taste. Additionally, higher taxation would push almost a third of vapers to the black market. The WVA urges politicians to listen to consumers and avoid regulations and bans, creating a public health disaster.
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said:
“The survey among our members confirms what science has repeatedly proved: flavours are essential for people to quit smoking. Bans and high taxation only boost the black market and push many vapers back to smoking. It is time that politicians start listening to those most affected by their policies: the consumers!”
Key findings of the survey:
- A staggering 97% of respondents prefer vaping flavours or a combination of flavours and tobacco taste. Only 3% say they prefer tobacco.
- If flavours were banned: more than half of vapers would seek to get their flavours on the black market or return to smoking. 21% say they would exclusively vape tobacco flavour, and 16% think they would quit vaping.
- Tax increases would split the consumption behaviour of vapers:
- 31% would keep vaping like they are currently and pay the higher price;
- 30% say they would vape less to make up for the increased price;
- 28% would try to get their products on the black market.
- Vapers feel the media is one-sided and not objective enough when covering vaping. A staggering 75% rated media coverage in their countries as unfavourable.
- Vapers evaluate the current regulatory framework similarly. 60% of respondents are dissatisfied with the current way vaping is treated by their governments.
The survey was conducted among members of the WVA. The total number of respondents was 415 in 36 countries.
“These results show that those who can afford higher prices would pay the additional price and don’t change their behaviour. The worrying aspect is that for many vaping would become a luxury good, and almost a third would be pushed to the black market. Politicians must finally consider those unintended consequences when proposing new legislation”, added Landl.
With the Tobacco Products Directive on the horizon, the WVA calls on the EU institutions to follow a risk-based approach to vaping. Future regulation must be based on science and the experience of millions of consumers. Less harmful products should be treated differently than cigarettes.