The Welsh government may have failed to ban e-cigs in public places, but they’re determined that if you do use e-cigarettes to get off tobacco cigarettes, you’re not going to enjoy it.In its latest attack on vapers, Public Health Wales has stated:
confectionary-like flavours of e-liquid should not be permitted, in order to reduce the appeal of vaping to children and young people.According to Ashley Gould from Public Health Wales (PHW), only children like sweet flavours and vaping companies who sell sweet flavours are deliberately targeting children.
You can buy bubblegum, candy floss, jam doughnut flavour e-cigarettes and they are only aimed at one audience - and that's about recruiting children.Yet both these statements are completely at odds with all the available evidence and industry trends.
What’s the problem?
1. E-liquid flavours are importantAs we reported in Ten Tips For Switching to E-Cigarettes, flavours can be important. Here’s what one user said:
Turns out, my key (besides a satisfying setup) was to get away from tobacco flavoured e-juice. So I started looking for tobacco with other flavours mixed in. Kept moving tobacco flavour out and other flavours in. One day I ran into Sweet Dreams, a strawberries and cream with no tobacco. And that was it. Kept finding other flavours and never looked back. Can’t stand tobacco flavours anymore.In fact, many experienced users have completely stopped using tobacco flavours, and in one survey over 30% reported using fruit flavours while 18% reported using confectionary flavours.
By banning a range of e-liquid flavours, the Welsh government will be making it more difficult for vapers to switch, and giving the tobacco industry another boost!
2. E-cigs are not leading to addiction in children
And recently as October 2016 research by Action on Smoking and Health showed that:
more young people are now aware of, and have tried e-cigarettes but regular use is still rare and confined largely to those who currently smoke or have previously smoked.It’s in stark contrast to cigarettes, where initial experimentation can lead to a lifelong smoking addiction.
Perhaps that’s because of the growing evidence that e-cigs are just not as addictive as tobacco cigarettes. And perhaps that’s also why, according to Cancer Research UK, youth smoking rates are hitting an all time low.
Yet Another Attack on the Thriving Welsh Vape IndustryThe e-cig industry is huge in Wales. And it’s not just the retail jobs - it’s brought manufacturing back to Wales and delicious Welsh-made e-liquids are sold all over the world.
Yet while the Welsh government spends fortunes on other industries, the Welsh e-cig industry has faced battle after battle with the Welsh assembly.
And unlike other industries, they can’t get loans from the Welsh Development agency.
This latest proposal would be a major blow.
Now Welsh companies, already handling the huge expense of new EU regulations, and the investment required to put in place age verification systems on their websites, are going to face yet another burden on their business.
Do you think sweet flavoured e-liquids should be banned in Wales? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!
Childhood smoking statistics, Cancer Research
Farsalinos E.K, Impact of Flavour Variability on Electronic Cigarette Use Experience: An Internet Survey, Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Dec; 10(12): 7272–7282. Published online 2013 Dec 17. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10127272