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Regulations on flavoured e-cigarettes may prevent young people from becoming ‘long-term users’, says researcher

Teenagers who smoke sweet or fruit-flavoured e-cigarettes are less likely to stop vaping, a new study has claimed. Researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) carried out a study to investigate how flavours of vaping devices impacts regular use of e-cigarettes. The scientists tracked nearly 500 teenagers from Los Angeles who vaped, assessing them at six-month intervals between 2015 and 2017.

Around nine in 10 of the participants were found to have a preference for e-cigarettes with sweet, fruity or other non-traditional flavours. Of the teenagers who vaped using non-traditional flavours, 64.3 per cent still regularly smoked e-cigarettes six months later, compared with 42.9 per cent who vaped using flavours such as tobacco or menthol.

The researchers discovered that the participants who smoked e-cigarettes with sweet flavours were more likely to vape more heavily six months later, stating that they took more puffs every time they smoked. Professor Adam Leventhal, director of the USC Institute for Addiction Science, explained it is important to note frequency of vaping when predicting whether young people are likely to become long-term e-cigarette users.

“Whether or not children continue with vaping is important – the longer and more frequently you vape, the more you’re exposing yourself to toxins in e-cigarette aerosol and put yourself at risk for nicotine addiction,” Professor Leventhal said. “Regulations that reduce youth exposure to flavoured e-cigarettes may aid in preventing young people who try e-cigarettes from becoming long-term e-cigarette users, and also from inhaling more aerosol into their lungs,” he added.

Earlier this year, it was announced that flavoured e-cigarettes would be banned in New York after a spate of deadly lung illnesses across the US were connected to vaping. According to the Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of 22 October, 1,604 cases of lung injury connected to e-cigarette use were reported to the organisation from 49 US states, the District of Columbia and one US territory.

The number of Evali (e-cigarette or vaping product use associated lung injury) deaths had reached 34 in 24 US states. Earlier this month, e-cigarette company Juul announced it had suspended the sale of all its fruit-flavoured products.

The company said it will continue selling mint- and menthol-flavoured nicotine pods. In September, US president Donald Trump said he planned to ban all flavours of e-cigarettes across the country, except tobacco flavour. However, according to Bloomberg, the Trump administration is considering making an exception for mint- and menthol-flavoured e-cigarettes.

This article originally appeared at The Independent website


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