A hot topic of discussion this week has seen the United States Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A) seek to impose an imminent ban on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes and e-liquids. Why? Let’s find out.
Combatting Youth E-cigarette Usage
In an unprecedented move that has the potential to significantly impact the e-cigarette industry in the US, predictions suggest that flavoured e-cigarettes and e-liquids are to come under some tight restrictions due to what some are calling an e-cigarette epidemic among the kids of America. Sales of flavoured e-liquids, that some say contribute to the desire among the young to try e-cigarettes, are set to be banned from thousands of store across the country as well as online verification requests for online sales.
In 2018, it was estimated that there were some 3.5 million underage vapers in the US. When you take into consideration that there are just 3.2 million vapers in the UK, the US figure of young vapers seems worthy to warrant the attributed attention, but is a ban on flavoured e-liquid and e-cigarettes a step too far?
Naturally, a consideration to be made first and foremost is how are kids getting hold of e-cigarettes in the first place? Could stricter bans on underage selling be enforced to those licensed to sell e-cigarettes? Could shopkeepers impose a more rigorous line of questioning when it comes to knowing their customer’s age? Can common sense prevail?
The Problem with Banning Flavoured E-liquid
In a classic case of one step forward, two steps back, there lies a fairly fundamental error of judgement should the FDA move forward with their plans to ban flavoured e-liquids. Youth culture aside, adult smokers who are genuinely looking to quit cigarettes and use e-cigarettes, flavoured e-liquids and all, to abate their addictions will ultimately be missing out on products aimed at helping them.
The Sugar Content in Cigarettes
The addiction to cigarettes is at a bare minimum two-fold; in addition to nicotine, what you might not know is that cigarettes contain roughly half a teaspoon of sugar (20%) which means that when you quit smoking, you endure the unfortunate experience of withdrawing from both substances – fun times.
Indeed, the high sugar content of cigarettes bears the initial premise and thinking behind flavoured e-cigarettes. Fruity concoctions act to aid your withdrawal and to curb your cravings for sugar which in the past, would so often be remedied with a trip to the naughty aisle of their local supermarket, which would then subsequently lead to unwelcome weight gain. Flavoured e-liquids go some way to allay those cravings and should be seen as a contributing factor to encourage more people to ditch the cigarettes and make the move to vaping.
In the UK, Public Health England declares that e-cigarettes are up to 95% less harmful than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit. In addition, the UK is second only to Sweden in number of cigarettes smokers, with e-cigarettes playing its part in the continuing drive to reduce the rates of smokers.