Lately, I’ve been writing about, and subsequently trying, loads of new e-liquid flavours – yeah life can be harsh.
Usually I’m a bakery/dessert kind of gal, and being tight as a gnat’s chuff when it comes to spending my cash I usually only experiment with new flavours when I DIY. Recently I decided to throw caution to the wind and step out of my comfort zone, live a little, y’know? To my surprise and delight, I’ve discovered that I do like fruity flavoured vapes…and even more shocking I kinda like Koolada vapes…and even anise! I dislike the taste of aniseed in food or drink (due to an unfortunate encounter with a bottle of Raki in my early teens) but in a vape, I’ve discovered it isn’t bad at all.
So great, I found a whole bunch of lush e-juices that are going to siphon more cash out of my pocket than I should be spending, again…life…so harsh!
But then I come across this article about how New Jersey have decided to extend an existing ban on flavours in tobacco to that of e-liquid too and…BAM…rage mode insta-engaged, unsurprisingly most of the FDA and TPD stupidity tends to have that effect on me. In line with laws on tobacco New Jersey legislators have decreed that e-juice flavours should be limited to that of tobacco, clove, or menthol ONLY!
Their reasoning? The children of course! Won’t anyone think of the children they mewl despairingly, head in hands…?
“The appeal of electronic smoking devices is just as bad, if not worse, because the products are available in almost every candy-like flavor imaginable,” says New Jersey Legislator Herb Conaway. “From a public health perspective, it makes sense to extend the ban on flavored tobacco products to electronic smoking devices, as well.”
Before you start shaking your head sadly in sympathy for those poor American vapers who are suffering heinous hate crimes against their favourite e-liquid flavours, I’d just like to point out that we’re not exactly home free in the UK on this point. May I direct you to horrifyingly similar proposals made recently by Public Health Wales?
Ashley Gould from Public Health Wales (PHW)
“You can buy bubblegum, candyfloss, jam doughnut flavour e-cigarettes and they are only aimed at one audience – and that’s about recruiting children.”
Seriously? Recruiting children? Pur-lease…where did PHW get this numpty from? I’m imagining Ashley Gould’s daily diet now ‘…only food that tastes like cardboard for me, no sugar, salt or spices please, I’m all grown-up!’
What a pile of unadulterated bollox! Only kids like candyfloss and doughnuts? Gould’s assertion is so incredible that it does not even deserve any form of reasonable rebuttal. Simply put, it is pure garbage and should be treated as such.
What really grinds my gears about this sort of thinking is the blatant hypocrisy of it.
If adults really don’t enjoy ‘flavours’, because of course everyone knows that 90% of your taste buds fall out at 18 years of age and never grow back, then why is there so much alcohol on the market with characteristic novelty flavouring? Is alcohol aimed at only one audience? Has the alcoholic drink industry abandoned all subtlety when it comes to their recruitment tools for future alcoholism?
I drink alcohol rarely; I sincerely believe this is because I avoided eating Wine Gums as a kid (simply because I didn’t like the green, red or black ones). I did however enjoy Pint Pots…remember those? They were lush! Good thing I skipped the wine gums though coz no doubt I’d be a screaming wino by now having taken such a tasty gummy gateway into the magical adult world of booze consumption. It is perhaps ironic that I have never liked the taste of alcoholic drinks that much, so when I do drink, I like drinks that have the flavour of fruit, sweeties, and berries. It’s sooo sad when an adult refuses to put away such childish things.
PHW did however acknowledge that although the risks associated with vaping were significantly lower than that of smoking there were still potential risks associated with the use of e-cigarettes.
- Mimicking smoking a cigarette, which could play a role in normalising smoking behaviour
- Potentially acting as a gateway to tobacco use
- May reduce the likelihood of smokers quitting by displacing proven methods
Lo and behold, the normalisation argument, well what a surprise – guess what PHW…kids, especially teens tend to do stuff because it is rebellious, and because it’s what their peer group is doing. NOT because it’s a cool thing that an older generation do!
Vaping acting as a ‘gateway’? Again, not gonna be happening as much as they seem to think – I don’t have statistics to hand to prove the point but imo they got the whole idea back to front.
I think that tobacco use is the gateway to the use of e-cigarettes, and that smoking leads to vaping, NOT vice versa!!
How many smokers do you know who used E-cigarettes BEFORE they started smoking? How many vapers do you know who smoked tobacco BEFORE they started vaping?
I’ll bet the numbers in the second group are by far greater than those in the first. ‘Nuff said.
Moreover, that brings us to PHW’s last scandalous assertion; E cigarettes might discourage smokers from quitting by displacing proven methods! I couldn’t possibly argue with this point seeing, as we ALL know that e-cigarettes are NOT smoking cessation devices and therefore cannot be considered a ‘proven method’ of quitting. *snort*
So hey, why not make e-cigs even less attractive to smokers looking for an alternative to tobacco? After all, e-cigs are not a proven quitting method, so no harm no foul, right…? WRONG! According to Alex Clark, legislative coordinator for the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association, a recent survey found that 14% of e-cigarette users said they would return to cigarettes if flavoured liquids were banned.
Anyway, point is, that just because the TPD have left all of our beautiful e-juice flavours alone, please remember that this is JUST FOR NOW! The European Commission will closely monitor the impact and implementation of the current directives up until 2021, at which point they will be re-assessed to see if any amendments are necessary. As far as flavoured e-juice is concerned the Commission will be looking closely at any ‘substantial change of circumstance’ regarding the perceived attractiveness of flavoured e-liquids on the habits of young people and non-smokers.
A 10% increase in sales volumes of flavoured e-liquids would be considered a ‘substantial change of circumstance’, as would ‘an increase of the level of prevalence of use in the under 25 years of age consumer group by at least five percentage points in at least five Member States for the respective product category…’
In other words, they have all bases covered to do whatever they want. I predict that sales volumes of wonderful e-juices that taste and smell like delicious cakes, and candyfloss , slushies, fruits and custards and all that other gorgeous stuff that apparently adults aren’t interested in, will increase by more than 10% and that a lot of these sales will be to under 25s.
Point is, that in the past these under 25s would have probably been inclined to start smoking anyway in the absence of an alternative. With the emergence of e-cigarettes as an alternative, they are likely to choose vaping INSTEAD of smoking, and seeing as vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco surely this is a good thing? Yet there is a good chance it could be used to beat the vaping industry with the bland stick. The UK may be leaving the European Union but this directive was implemented in the UK as a Member State, and who can guess where we will be in 2021?
Do not sit about complacently waiting to see what will happen – stamp your feet, write to your local MP, shout about it, make your feelings known!
I certainly will, because I can’t imagine going without a cloudy E-dose of churros, blueberry crumble, and cookies & cream!