Since their introduction to U.S. consumers in 2007, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS or e-cigarettes) have gained popularity across age groups.

However, as vaping prevalence grew among teens and young adults, public health experts warned against the risk of addiction and potential damage that nicotine use poses to developing brains. This, in turn, has prompted a flurry of policies at local, state and national levels that target the wide variety of flavored nicotine products believed to appeal directly to underage consumers.

The specific policies are too recent and too uneven to evaluate directly. However, a review of the research on e-cigarettes as smoking cessation tools, the appeal of flavors and the impacts of other tobacco legislation suggest that flavor bans will likely have both public health benefits and consequences. Two potential consequence stand out: unintended harms to consumers through the disruption of smoking cessation.

A limited number of studies have looked at people’s actual and presumptive responses to flavor bans. This small body of research suggests that the policy could reduce vaping in general, but that it may drive some current vapers to resume or increase their use of combustible cigarettes and others to seek out their preferred e-cigarette flavors through illicit markets and hard-to-regulate online retailers.

Read full article here.

Stacey A. McKenna – R Street – March 2021.

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