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Jan 18, 2016 07:09 AM EST

Flavored E-Cigarettes may increase vaping among school children

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A Cambridge study reveals that electronic-cigarettes with flavours such as chocolate and bubble gum are more likely to attract school children to buy and try e-cigarettes, NDTV reports.

The study was published in the journal BMJ Tobacco Control.

The researchers expressed concern that the rising use of e-cigarettes amongst children could lead to tobacco smoking.

E-cigarettes are the most commonly consumed nicotine product amongst children in countries with strong tobacco control policies.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey found that e-cigarette use tripled from 2013 to 2014 amongst high schoolers in the U.S.  In comparison, e-cigarette use has risen from 5 per cent in 2013 to 8 percent in 2014 amongst 11-18 year olds in U.K.

E-cigarettes are currently marketed in around 8,000 different flavours.

For the study, the researchers divided 598 school children into three groups; one group was shown adverts for candy-like flavoured e-cigarettes, a second group was shown adverts for non-flavoured e-cigarettes and a control group was shown no adverts.

The study results showed that the children liked the ads for candy-flavoured e-cigarettes more and expressed a greater interest in buying and these trying e-cigarettes. 

"We're cautiously optimistic from our results that e-cigarette ads don't make tobacco smoking more attractive, but we're concerned that ads for e-cigarettes with flavours that might appeal to school children could encourage them to try the products," said Dr Milica Vasiljevic from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care at Cambridge.

Advertising and marketing of e-cigs is essentially unregulated across Europe and the U.S.

There are currently no any specific prohibitions regarding the marketing of candy-like flavors designed to appeal to youths, according to Science Daily.

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