Eureka! Vaping adults *do* like flavors!

Will a new study change minds at the FDA, which has already stated its desire to get rid of flavors in e-liquid?


Everyone who hates vaping wants to get rid of flavors. The FDA tried to ban non-tobacco e-liquid flavors already, and they still might. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids continues to organize calls from tobacco control and public health organizations to demand a ban by the federal agency. Sen. Blumenthal howls, Rep. Speier laments.

The reason is always the same: flavors are a plot to addict a new generation blah blah blah Big Tobacco blah blah kids…nicotine. Hey, you can’t blame the politicians. To them, this is just an easy target. They’re just using the nonsense they’re fed by Respected Scientists from Trusted Institutions of Higher Learning to slam a bunch of…smokers.

It’s as though researchers have never spoken to adult vapers. Oh, wait, they haven’t. If they had, they’d have long since grasped that most successful vapers use and need flavors. Flavors help us separate ourselves from the taste of burning tobacco. They make vaping more interesting, and easier to dive into.

Do they have taste buds?

gummi bears

Flavors allow us to leave the experience of cigarettes behind, and the further from cigarettes we get, the more we want to enjoy our revived sense of taste and smell. If the FDA’s deeming nightmare comes to pass — if the entire independent vape industry, with its endless flavor options, is wiped out — flavors will be the biggest reason that a massive black market rises from the ashes of the legitimate industry and creates problems for the FDA for years. Like two million angry gummy bear soldiers, vapers will wreak havoc on the FDA’s neat little regulatory scheme.

Are tobacco controllers human? More study is needed.

People of all ages just happen to enjoy sweet, fruity, and desserty flavors. Do vaping researchers not eat candy, strawberries, and apple pie? Do they subsist on a diet of flavorless gruel and unsweetened gluten-free dough? Do they have taste buds? Are tobacco controllers human? More study is needed.

When tobacco control activists say things like, “The idea that adults would use flavors like gummy bear or cotton candy is beyond belief,” vapers laugh. Vapers all know people in the forties or fifties who love those flavors. And we all know why. Why don’t these people just ask someone who knows?

Well, now they have — sort of.



A study just published in the journal Tobacco Control reaches the startling conclusion that adult vapers, when given the choice, prefer sweet flavors over dull ones. It’s not a shock to us, but for these committed gruel-eaters, this is a major step forward!

The study found that given the choice between six presumably mediocre Blu flavors –Classic Tobacco, Magnificent Menthol, Cherry Crush, PiƱa Colada, Peach Schnapps, and Vivid Vanilla — a group of 31 Columbus, OH-area vapers preferred the sweeter flavors. Eureka!

“Our findings indicate that bitterness and harshness, most likely from nicotine, have negative impacts on the liking of e-cigarettes,” they concluded, “but the addition of flavourants that elicit sweetness or coolness generally improves liking. The results suggest that flavours play an important role in e-cigarette preference and most likely use.” Of course, the bitterness and harshness has nothing to do with nicotine. It’s just the bitterness and harshness of Blu tobacco flavors. But let’s not argue with their convenient untruth.

The only way this study could be more tobacco control establishment is if Prof. Glantz licked the envelope that the grant application was mailed in.

The lead researcher and most of the others are from the Battelle Public Health Center for Tobacco Research, one of the 14 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) established by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) and the National Institutes for Health. The study was funded jointly by the National Cancer Institute and the CTP, and published in Tobacco Control, the geographical center of worthless vaping research. The only way this study could be more tobacco control establishment is if Prof. Glantz licked the envelope that the grant application was mailed in.

“Legitimate” public health/tobacco control funding may make the study harder for prohibitionist tobacco control types to dismiss out of hand. Frankly, this is something new in tobacco control junk science: a study that works in our favor! Let’s see if it gets any attention. Don’t hold your breath though. The FDA and their friends have a way of ignoring anything that doesn’t reinforce their own preconceptions.

Jim McDonald
I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.