19. Vaping

Vaping: Definitely in Flavor
One of the attractions for many people to start vaping is the range of fruity and other flavors available in the vape juice that’s heated in e-cigarettes to create vapor. It’s a growing list, as vape manufacturers come up with new and exciting flavors to add to their e-liquid, and at Electric Tobacconist, we can say that among the most popular right now are the many fruity and other ones that adults love.
Not everyone, after all, likes the taste of tobacco, and that’s why so many vapers were alarmed when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced earlier this year that it was considering banning most flavors in e-liquid because it was worried that underage people were attracted to them and vaping. It’s a valid concern, as e-cigarettes are definitely not for teens, but taking away adults’ cherished e-liquid flavors is hardly the answer.
Thankfully, the FDA allowed vapers to make their opinions known and, in all, over half a million Americans who vape gave their views during an open-comment period online. We went through many of them to see what vapers were telling the powerful federal agency, and here’s a sampling:
‘Need Flavors’
Hi, I first started smoking cigarettes at the age of 16 and I steadily smoked cigarettes for the next 27 years. That was until I first was introduced to vaping at the age of 43 (I’m now 47 and cigarette-free), and instantly I knew it was the thing to finally get me off of cigarettes. I never used any tobacco juice. I did not want to taste those kinds of juices [because] I hated the taste of it, but I couldn’t stop smoking no matter what. I need flavors to stay smoke free, so I don’t have to go back to the deadly addiction of cigarettes. I’ve been vaping with delicious menthol flavors for the last 4 1/2 years. Please keep flavors around. Thank you. — Kathy Yeomans
‘Breathing Easier’
My name is Jacob Peddy and I smoked for 14 years and, thanks to the many different flavors of e-liquid, I have quit smoking. I no longer wake up coughing, I can breathe a whole lot better, my doctor says my lungs sound 100 times better. If you take flavors away from us vapers you’ll be killing us all again. — Jacob Peddy
‘Doing Better’
I am writing this in regards to [any] flavor ban on e-liquids. If it wasn’t for the different types of candy style flavors, I would still be smoking today. The fruity candy flavors are what helped me switch from smoking to vaping. It made it more enjoyable than smoking some nasty-tasting cigarette. I do not vape tobacco-flavor e-liquid, because I don’t like it. It reminds me too much of when I used to smoke and worries me that I will probably pick back up cigarettes if I vape tobacco flavor e-liquid. For my kids’ sake, I do not want to be a smoker again. I have been healthier and doing better since vaping and would like to keep it that way. — Zachary Pierce
Vaping flavors has helped me get off cigs and helped me feel amazing. There was a point where I felt like coughing up a lung. Now I can say that I’ve successfully quit. Vaping has saved my life. — Hunter Crisp
‘Big Difference’
The choices of flavors and varieties of flavors are exactly what keeps me from smoking conventional cigarettes. I sure hope that these flavors won’t be restricted; it truly is making a difference. — Gary Coleman
‘Flavors Helped Me Quit’
I’ve smoked for about 20 years. I would try over and over again to quit. But nothing worked. I tried the patch and nicotine gum. Even pills. About 7 years ago, I tried vaping. I tried the tobacco flavors first. Let me tell you, it was not my cup of tea. I then tried a strawberry shortcake flavor. And it was actually a very nice flavor. And the more I vaped, I noticed I was smoking less and less cigarettes. I soon started to try all sorts of flavors, some not to my taste, but I found what I liked. Desserts, fruits and candy. My favorite juice is a Strawberry Jam flavor. I quit within four months of starting the first time I vaped. It’s been 7 years now.
And I feel great. I smell good. I don’t need to wake up and cough my brains out. I also can taste things and breathe again. I’m telling you, I don’t think I would have been able to quit with tobacco flavored juices. Having all these flavors helps because people wanna stay clear of something that tastes like a cigarette. You can change a flavor if you get sick of it. I personally have a few flavors I vape every day. I’ll actually pair it with food or to what I’m going to do that day. I couldn’t see vaping without flavors. I don’t know if I could vape without flavors. — James Rondeai
Despite comments like these — and almost all who responded to the FDA’s open-comment call were overwhelmingly in support of flavors in e-cigarettes — the agency went ahead and issued restrictions anyway. The good news is that it’s not an outright ban and online vape stores and others can still sell them.
“We’re not telling the retail stores you can’t sell them,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said. “If the establishments want to continue to sell these fruity flavored products, they’re going to have to put into place measures that will make sure they are not going to get into the hands of kids.”