One in three vapers fear a ban on flavoured devices and liquids will lead them back to cigarettes – which could see close to 1.5 million former smokers returning to their habit.
This comes as Ministers are considering putting a stop to the sale of fruit- and sweet-flavoured vapes such as Elf Bars, which are hugely popular among children.
But a poll of 2,000 adults, who use vapes, found 76% had only just started to quit their smoking habit, while eight in ten vapers (83%) claim flavoured vapes help them pack in their smoking habits.
And while 27% agree there is a real need to tackle youth vaping, nearly four in ten (37%) want more effective enforcement handed out to retailers who are selling them to children – rather than an outright ban on flavours.
John Dunne, director general of the UK Vaping Industry Association, which commissioned the research, said: “The research shows there is a reliance on vapes to help smokers quit – and flavours have a role to play.
“While we are supportive of attempts to eradicate youth smoking, having a ban on flavours could have a negative impact on those who are attempting to quit.
“Often with these types of policies, trying to stamp out one problem can cause another, and it shows many adult vapers are concerned about what they are hearing from the Government.
“The survey has shown many fear such a change could lead them back to smoking, meaning nearly 1.5 million current vapers across the UK could return to conventional cigarettes, based on the number of adult vape users (4.3m) reported by the Office of National Statistics last year.”
The research also revealed the most popular flavours amongst adult vapers were the very ones that the Government is looking to consider banning.
Whilst strawberry is the nation’s favourite overall, other fruity flavours dominate the top five – including blueberry, watermelon, cherry, and raspberry.
Many also cited some more unusual preferences like lychee, Earl Grey, and even a Bloody Mary.
Tobacco and menthol flavourings are the most common ones quitters turned to – although 65% didn’t receive any advice on the best flavours to help them on their quest to give up smoking.
And 83% think having this guidance would be an important part of the quitting journey.
A separate poll of 1,000 smokers, conducted via OnePoll.com, found 36% are currently trying to reduce the amount they use cigarettes, by increasing how much they vape – and 75% of these are confident this will help them to be successful on their quitting journey.
John Dunne added: “It is important to offer those who are trying to quit smoking the appropriate advice, including flavours, to support them during the process.
“We know that going cold turkey is not an option for many, and it shows a considerable amount are having success with flavoured vapes to help reduce, and ultimately cut out, their reliance on cigarettes.”
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