Flavours in e-vapours are attracting and retaining smokers into the vaping category, a US-based study has found.
The findings suggest that the majority of e-vapour product users, who had switched from smoking cigarettes to using vaping products, are shown to have increasingly likely initiated vaping with non-tobacco flavours, and to have transitioned from tobacco to non-tobacco flavours over time.
"The results show that non-tobacco flavours, especially fruit based flavours, are being increasingly preferred to tobacco flavours by adult vapers who have completely switched from combustible cigarettes to vapour products," said lead author Christopher Russell, Deputy Director of Centre for Substance Use Research (CSUR).
For the study, published in the Harm Reduction Journal, the researchers assessed the first flavour and current e-vapour product flavour used by 20 836 adult frequent vapers.
The researchers found that nearly 16 000 had completely switched from smoking to vaping, while 5 000 were dual users who were smoking and using e-vapour products.
In the study the most popular currently used e-vapour flavours in the US were fruit/fruit beverage, where up to 82.9 per cent of sampled users reporting regular purchase and use of vape liquids in this category.
This was followed by dessert/pastry flavours at 68.5 per cent while tobacco and menthol flavours ranked as the fifth and sixth most popular currently used flavours respectively.
The researchers also looked at the flavour first time users typically used when starting to vape.
The proportion of first vaping product purchases that were fruit-flavoured increased from 17.8 per cent, of first purchases made before 2011, to 33.5 per cent between June 2015 and June 2016, the researchers said.
Tobacco-flavoured first purchases almost halved during this time from 46.0 per cent pre-2011 to 24.0 per cent between 2015-2016, they added.