Public health advocates regularly promote bans on flavored liquids, or e-liquids, used in e-cigarettes, arguing that they prompt teenagers to take up vaping and ultimately “hook” them on nicotine. While this is a reasonable concern, the evidence shows that banning flavored e-liquids would discourage adult smokers from giving up cigarettes and do little to quell teen vaping, which is low in both the U.S. and U.K.
Our northern neighbor has banned flavors in vaping products since 2015. The results are mixed, and the ban represents an incomplete solution to underage use of this new nicotine delivery system. If flavor is not the only gateway, might we consider the desire to rebel and be part of a group?