Research Finds That Flavoured Vape Ban Would Increase Number Of Young Smokers

A new study has suggested that if flavoured vape juice was restricted, a third of young people who vape would switch to smoking cigarettes.

The findings, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, come as an international debate intensifies on the use of e-cigarettes as an aid to help people stop smoking, one that has sparked conflict between UK researchers and the World Health Organisation.

The issues began in January when the WHO published a widely criticised document which has since been criticised by other researchers, as well as by the government and the NHS.

The latter, in particular, has recommended e-cigarettes as a potential aid to help smokers stop, and has emphasised that according to Public Health England statistics, vaping is 95 per cent less harmful than smoking, and 74 per cent of smokers who took up vaping permanently switched to the latter.

However, since this was published, the Health Secretary in charge of the UKโ€™s smoke-free initiative has been replaced, and a proposal that has been made is a blanket ban on both cigarettes and flavoured vapes for people under the age of 21 to match the WHOโ€™s proposals.

The debate on this is intense, with anti-smoking bodies such as Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) expressing concern over the move, given that their own study highlights that 90 per cent of smokers are unaware that a safer alternative is available.

Their findings also found that just 11.8 per cent of 11 to 17-year-olds had ever tried an e-cigarette, just 3.3 per cent of teenagers who have never smoked have ever tried vaping and less than one per cent currently vape having never smoked a cigarette.

The debate is likely to continue as the government publish their plan for a smoke-free Britain by 2030 later in 2021.