76% of vapers say a flavours ban could lead to more young people smoking

• 71% say smokers would not take up vaping to quit if flavours were banned.

• Banning vapes to under 18s is better than a ban on flavoured vapes, says vaper.

One in five ex-smokers said they will go back to smoking if flavoured vapes were banned and almost two thirds (65%) of those who smoke and vape said they will smoke cigarettes more often, according to research conducted by RED C Research & Marketing published today, 18th March 2024.

The independent poll found that fruit, tobacco and menthol flavours continue to be the most popular among vapers.

An overwhelming 94% of those using rechargeable vapes, which are used by more than half (55%) of all vapers, say flavours help them stay off cigarettes entirely.

79% of disposable vapes users say they like to try out different flavours. If disposable vapes were banned, 52% said they will source them online from abroad.

An overwhelming majority (76%) of vapers believe a ban on all flavours could lead to more young people smoking.

71% of those surveyed felt that smokers would be less inclined to take up vaping to quit if flavours were banned and that such a ban will lead to black market activity.

90% of those surveyed also believe that such an overall ban could lead to a black market for flavoured vapes. Almost half (49%) said they would source flavours from outside Ireland if a ban was introduced.

Fruit flavours are the most commonly used flavours by vapers (35% use these most frequently), followed by tobacco (27%) and menthol flavours (24%).

Many vapers (37%) are in favour of some type of ban on flavours specifically attractive to the youth market, including beverage and energy drink style flavours, candy/sweets and dessert flavours.

Michael Dwyer who quit his 30-year smoking habit with flavoured vapes, said the findings highlight the serious impact a ban will have on those trying to quit smoking.

“It would be wrong of the Government and the EU to ban flavours because of its misguided belief that they are a gateway to teen smoking.

“The new restrictions preventing the sale of vapes to under 18s will be more effective than a ban on flavoured vapes. Stakeholders need to focus on how we can encourage more people to quit tobacco.

“The Government’s Healthy Ireland survey finds that over 300,000 people in Ireland use vapes to try and quit smoking and over 162,000 have been successful. When the Government’s own research finds that more people quit by using vapes compared to use of nicotine replacement therapies like gums and lozenges, it makes sense to make sure flavoured vaping continues to play a role in achieving a Tobacco Free Ireland.”

96% of vapers that were ex-smokers said it helped them quit and 85% of vapers that also smoked said vapes helped them reduce the amount they smoked. All agreed vaping is more effective that gums, patches and sprays.

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