Do Eliquid Flavours Help with Quitting?

Quitting cigarettes is hard, do flavoured e-liquids help smokers to switch and give up tobacco related harm? Researchers at Vancouver’s Cancer Research Institute, the University of Michigan, and Georgetown University have looked at the evidence and found the answer whether they are associated with successful quit attempts.

Flavours in e-liquids are one of the main objections for people who are opposed to vaping. They say that they are used by vape and tobacco companies to lure young people into taking up vaping. Also, they say that adults do not need sweet or pastry flavours as they don’t exist in cigarette products.

Many countries have banned all vape juice flavours other than tobacco. Some European nations are currently working to ban them now, and the next version of the European Union’s Tobacco Products Directive is rumoured to be taking a tough line on flavours. This could influence UK policy, although this appears to be unlikely at the moment.

The research team, Yoonseo Mok, Jihyoun Jeon, David Levy, and Rafael Meza, said that only a few research papers have previously looked the impact of e-cigarette flavours on cessation outcomes. Their study aimed to build on that previous work by observing the outcomes of electronic cigarette use and e-liquid flavours on the number of quit attempts and success of complete smoking cessation.

They analysed data obtained from the American 2018-2019 Tobacco Use Supplement-Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) survey. The statistical analysis was used to investigate the associations between flavoured e-liquid use with the quit process of those who had been smoking for at least the previous 12 months. They considered people who had been vaping every day and also those who vaped at least 20 days per month.

They noted: “Compared to those not using e-cigarettes, current every day or someday e-cigarette users with non-tobacco flavours were more likely to succeed in quitting compared to those exclusively using non-flavoured or tobacco-flavoured e-cigarettes. Menthol/mint flavour users had slightly higher odds of quit attempts and success than users of other non-tobacco flavours.”

They concluded that the use of vape products and eliquids “is positively associated with both making a smoking quit attempt and quit success.” They said that their results clearly showed that smokers looking to quit would find the best success using flavoured juices, especially menthol and mint flavours.

With e-cigarette use being positively associated with both making quit attempts and resulting in successfully quitting smoking, and the use of flavours being strongly linked to successful quit attempts, further analysis showed there was no statistical difference between using menthol/mint flavours and any other products such as pastry and sweet juices.

The team stated that should flavours be banned, “the potential for e-cigarettes to help people who currently smoke quit could be maintained with the availability of menthol or mint flavoured e-cigarettes, even if other non-tobacco flavoured products, which are associated with e-cigarette use among youth, were removed from the market.”

The powerful take-away from the work is that vaping works as a quit tool and flavours are essential to that process. What flavoured e-liquid worked for you?