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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / November 2022 / Banning Fruity Flavors Did Not Deter Vapers

Banning Fruity Flavors Did Not Deter Vapers

On February 6, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of many flavored e-cigarettes, but a survey led by UR CTSI researcher Dongmei Li, Ph.D., shows that the ban did not result in people quitting vaping. Instead, nearly 60 percent of survey respondents switched to types of flavors of e-cigs that were not included in the FDA ban.

“Other forms of flavored ecigs, especially disposable e-cigs, have become very popular after the FDA policy,” said Li, who is an associate professor of Clinical and Translational Research, Obstetrics and Gynecology and Public Health Sciences at URMC. “The FDA policy also did not ban menthol or tobacco flavored products – and our study shows many people switched to menthol flavored e-cigs after the ban.”

Others survey respondents reported switching to traditional tobacco products: 14 percent switched to combustible products, like cigarettes, and five percent switched to smokeless tobacco (i.e. chew or dip). And less than five percent of respondents quit using e-cigs after the FDA ban.

“An increasing body of literature shows that e-cig flavors themselves cause damage when inhaled, so it makes sense to ban flavors,” said Deborah J. Ossip, Ph.D., a tobacco research expert and professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences and Center for Community Health and Prevention at URMC who co-authored the study. “But the ban doesn’t appear to be working. People – including youth – can still get flavored products and are still using them.” 

Learn more in the URMC Newsroom.

Michael Hazard | 11/29/2022

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