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Do characterizing flavors in e-cigarette appeal to youth

Do Characterizing Flavors in E-Liquids Appeal to Youth?

Among the many concerns surrounding the rising popularity of e-cigarettes is their use by youth, and this often revolves around the use of “characterizing flavors.” The fear – held by many groups including the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association – is that flavors like bubble gum, cotton candy and many others hold an intrinsic appeal to youth and will hook them into nicotine addiction. Here at Black Note, we only produce tobacco flavors – including one with menthol – and our aim is to produce flavors that appeal to adult smokers and already-switched vapers, but is there something behind the concerns in general? We take a look at the evidence.

The Rise in Youth E-Cigarette Use

Regardless of the impact of flavors, the fact remains that e-cigarettes are increasingly being used by youth. The National Youth Tobacco Survey provides the most reliable evidence on the rates of e-cigarette use by youths, and the data from 2011 to 2013  provides a good overview of the potential issue. This survey looks at middle and high school students, and separates e-cigarette users into two groups: ever-users, who have tried an e-cigarette at least once, and current users, who have used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.  

In 2011, 1.4 percent of middle school students had ever used an e-cigarette, and this increased to 2.7 percent in 2012 and again to 3 percent in 2013. For high school students, ever-use in 2011 stood at 4.7 percent, increasing to 10 percent in 2012 and again to 11.9 percent in 2013.

However, the past-month use figures provide a better picture of how many regular (daily or weekly) users there are (although this will still include some recent “experimenters”). For middle school students, past-month use rose from 0.6 percent in 2011 to 1.1 percent in 2012 and remained at 1.1 percent in 2013. In high school students, corresponding past-month use rates were 1.5 percent in 2011, 2.8 percent in 2012 and 4.5 percent in 2013.

Much of the concern understandably centers on e-cigarette use by youths who’ve never-smoked, because these could have been introduced to nicotine through e-cigarettes. A separate analysis of never-smokers using the 2011 to 2013 National Youth Tobacco survey data found that, of around 44,000 never-smoking youths, 0.9 percent had ever used an e-cigarette and 0.3 percent had done so in the past month.

The Evidence on E-Liquid Flavors Appealing to Youth

 The concern about characterizing e-cig flavors appealing to youth is only supported by very scant data. One study published in December 2014 used focus groups from one middle school, two high schools and two colleges to look at the reasons for experimentation with e-cigarettes and for stopping using them. The results showed that available flavors were one of the most common reasons for experimentation (second only to curiosity), with around 44 percent saying that “appealing flavors” were a reason for experimenting.

However, another study (from January 2015) looked at the effect of flavor descriptors on interest in trying e-cigarettes, and found that different flavors being attached to e-cigarettes had little influence in their appeal to non-smoking teens. Their mean interest in trying e-cigs (on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no interest at all) was just 0.41, and this didn’t vary significantly with flavor, even when considering options like “gummy bear” and “cotton candy” that are frequently claimed to appeal to youth.

The Appeal of Flavors to Adult Smokers and Vapers

For adult smokers in the study above, different flavors did have a significant impact on their interest in trying e-cigs. This finding is supported by a survey of regular e-cigarette users, which found that users considered a variety of flavors “very important” to the success of e-cigarettes in helping them quit smoking, and just under half (48.5 percent) said that restrictions on available flavors would increase their cravings for cigarettes.

In general, it seems that the issue of e-cigarette flavors appealing to youth is a complicated one: there is limited evidence that flavors appeal to youth (although the only study on never-smokers indicated no particular appeal), but there’s also the suggestion that flavors are important for adult users. A balance is therefore needed to guard against the potential for such flavors to attract non-smokers, but without impacting on the appeal of e-cigarettes to adult smokers.

Characterizing Flavors in Cigarettes Appealing to Youth

For cigarettes, there is more clarity on the role of characterizing flavors in appealing to youths, and this was a key factor in the FDA’s decision to ban characterizing flavors in cigarettes. The supporting evidence comes in the form of both studies and leaked documents from tobacco companies. In one survey, for example, almost 23 percent of 17 year old smokers reported smoking flavored cigarettes, in comparison to less than 7 percent for smokers aged over 25. Additional evidence suggests that just over half of youth smokers (aged 13 to 18) who had heard of them reported interest in trying flavored cigarettes.

In combination with tobacco industry documents discussing the creation of a “youth cigarette” using sweet flavors, this is much more compelling reason for concern about youths starting smoking through flavored products.

For e-cigarettes and liquids, though, the evidence is considerably thinner on the ground and no internal documents from companies exist suggesting a desire to appeal to youth. It would be expected that the effect of flavors in cigarettes on youth uptake would carry over to e-cigarettes, but at present the evidence doesn’t back this assertion. However, characterizing flavors’ role in appealing to youth in cigarettes is clearly at the root of the concern about e-cigarettes.

Black Note’s Position on Characterizing Flavors and Marketing to Youth

 Here at Black Note, we strongly believe that the marketing of nicotine-containing products to youth is immoral and dangerous. We don’t use any characterizing flavors in our e-liquids, with only tobacco and menthol available, and we also don’t add any artificial colors, preservatives or additives to our best tobacco e-juice.

While we don’t think that other e-liquid or e-cigarette companies are using flavors to appeal to youth (at least in general), we entirely understand the source of the concern. That’s one of the reasons we’ve made our flavors tobacco and menthol only; we have no desire whatsoever to attract any customers other than adult smokers and already-switched vapers, and our flavor-selection is a testament to that fact.

Additionally, abundant evidence suggests that raising the prices of cigarettes significantly reduces youth smoking, and this would be expected to carry over to e-cigarettes. Our tobacco e-liquid is high-quality, can’t be purchased in small quantities and the cost of even a single bottle is likely to be prohibitive to youth. In combination, the prestigious nature of our e-liquid, our adult-only flavors and the complete absence of any marketing to youth means it’s very unlikely that any teens will be found vaping Black Note e-liquids.

Conclusion

Overall, the evidence that characterizing flavors in e-cigarettes are being used to appeal to youth is scant, with the strongest evidence on the topic – which focused specifically on non-smoking youth – supporting the opposite conclusion. However, concern is likely to continue, driven in part by the actions of tobacco companies in the past. While we can’t definitively say that no e-liquid companies are intending to target youths, at present there is clearly no reason to assume the e-cigarette industry is behaving like tobacco companies have in the past with regards to this important issue.

Michael Grey
Find Me Here

Michael Grey

With a passion to educate through my writings and a passion to help others, I found my place here at Black Note. Being that I am a former smoker who quit smoking because of vaping, I knew I could help others do the same. Working for Black Note is a true blessing. Not only do I help educate vapers on a daily basis through my writings, but I am also enjoying the benefits of working with an amazing team and sharing an authentic tobacco solution with the vaping community.
Michael Grey
Find Me Here

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What is E-Juice?

E-juice, also known as e-liquid or vaping liquid, is the liquid that’s placed in the vaping device and subsequently atomized into vapor. When you go to buy e-juice, you’ll notice it contains a mix of several ingredients. These typically include vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), some type of flavoring, and nicotine.

VG and PG form the base of the e-liquid. VG is a component used in food and personal care products; its role in e-liquid is to create a thick, dense vapor. PG is another popular solvent used in a variety of everyday items. It carries the e-liquid flavor, provides the “throat hit,” and enhances the vaping liquid’s ability to soak into wicks or cartomizer materials.

Nicotine is an optional ingredient, often available in different levels. E-juice also contains some type of flavoring.

Black Note leads the pack of tobacco vaping liquid by using only natural flavoring – extract from real tobacco leaves to produce real tobacco taste. When you go to buy e-juice from other companies, you may find any number of chemicals used to create synthetic flavors that include fake strawberry, manufactured vanilla, and even man-made tobacco flavors.

If your aim when you buy e-liquid is to experience the subtle nuances, genuine flair and authentic taste of real tobacco, then you’ll be on the mark if you buy e-juice from the Black Note lineup.

Best E-Juice

When you’re going to buy e-liquid, it’s only natural you’ll want the best e-liquid. But what, exactly, does it “best e-juice” mean? We’ll tell you.

For starters, you’ll want an e-juice that doesn’t contain all kinds of strange chemicals and concoctions that you can’t even pronounce. True, even the best e-liquid will contain vegetable glycerin (VG) and proplene glycol (PG), which serve as the base of e-juice, but you don’t necessarily need a host of other chemical compounds.

The best e-juice will stick to natural ingredients, like real tobacco extract, rather than rely on synthetic flavorings, colorings and other additives. Diacetyl is one of those synthetic ingredients that has gotten a pretty bad rap, although its use is not all that uncommon for producing sweet e juice flavors.

Definitely read the ingredient list before you buy e-juice to ensure you recognize what’s on it. Better yet, see if the e-juice company offers a lab report to confirm what’s actually inside the e-liquid.

In addition to having as few chemical ingredients as possible, the best e-juice will have an amazing taste. For those who enjoy authenticity over imitation, the most amazing taste is the most natural taste, especially when it comes to tobacco. Since Black Note uses real extract from tobacco leaves, we not only avoid all those weird chemical flavorings, but we also produce the most authentic experience: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like tobacco.

Best E-Liquid on the Market

Anyone looking for the best e-liquid on the market need look no further than Black Note. Black Note tobacco vaping liquid ranks as the best e-juice across the board in every category, starting with the taste.

Black Note’s main claim to fame is producing a tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. That because we use real tobacco extract, not chemicals, to create the best e-juice tobacco flavor. Using extract from real tobacco leaves retains tobacco’s nuances and flavor notes, giving you the most authentic and multi-faceted tobacco experience.

In addition to being the best e-juice for tobacco taste, Black Note also has the best e-liquid manufacturing process. We spent years researching and testing various production methods, and finally landed on one that we believe is absolutely perfect.

It starts with growing carefully selected tobacco seeds, followed by an equally precise of steps that include an extensive natural extraction process. Even our bottling and packaging is done with the utmost care, using recycled and recyclable packaging materials to ensure our products are as earth-friendly as they are vapor-friendly.

One more category where Black Note ranks as the best e-liquid is with the value. Every order comes with free domestic shipping, one-to-three day domestic shipping guarantee, and a 90-day, money-back satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy for any reason, or don’t agree we’re the best e-juice on the market, send it back on us and we’ll refund your money.

Vape Juice Ingredients

Vape juice ingredients can be pretty straightforward – or not. At the very least, most vape juice contains propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), and some type of flavoring. Nicotine has largely become an optional ingredient that can be included at varying levels or left out altogether.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) are usually the two main ingredients that make up the base of most vape juice.

VG is a plant-based substance with the ability to produce a dense, thick vapor. PG is an additive found in many food items and certain medicines. It carries the flavoring, provides the “throat hit” and enhances the vape juice’s ability to soak into the wicking materials.

Nicotine levels can vary, as can ingredients that make up the flavorings. The components that make up vape juice flavoring are where ingredients can get rather complicated.

Vape juice that relies on artificial flavorings can contain any number of extraneous chemicals and other additives, whatever it takes to recreate the flavor the ecig juice is going for.

Black Note uses only natural flavorings: extract from real tobacco leaves. That keeps our ingredient list incredibly simple, backed by a lab report to prove it. You won’t find any strange chemical concoctions used to produce our tobacco flavor, just real tobacco extract that delivers a real tobacco experience.

What is the Best Flavor for Ecig Juice?

From strawberry shortcake to banana rum, ecig juice comes in tons of flavors. While folks can debate and discuss all the fruity, sweet or food-like flavors all day long, the best flavor for e-cig liquid is straight-up tobacco.

Why? Vaping was originally created as an alternative for traditional cigarettes, mainly for those who enjoy the taste of tobacco. And when you can find an e-cig liquid that is able to recreate tobacco’s full-bodied yet delicate flavor notes and nuances, but without the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes, then you’ve found the best ecig juice.

Recreating tobacco’s complex flavor isn’t easy, especially when it’s attempted with artificial ingredients. That’s why Black Note sticks to the real thing, extracting the essence of real tobacco leaves to flavor our vaping liquid. Not only does this avoid the harmful chemicals in cigarettes, but it also eliminates the flavoring chemicals found in many ecig juices. The end result is real tobacco taste, an authentic tobacco experience and the best flavor for ecig juice you can find.

Notice also we said the best e-cig flavor was straight-up tobacco, not plain old tobacco. Black Note’s real tobacco vaping liquid happens to come in a variety of different blends, from the light and airy to the peppery and robust. Not all tobacco is created equal, and different blends capture the specialized subtleties that make each tobacco unique.

Best Sweet Tobacco E-Juice

When it comes to sweet tobacco e-juice, your options can be broken down into two categories.

The first category contains tobacco e-juice that overlays the tobacco flavor with artificial chocolate, caramel, vanilla, fruity or other dessert-like flavorings. We wouldn’t classify any such flavors as the best tobacco e liquid, simply because they typically use chemicals and other artificial ingredients to create the tobacco taste, the sweet taste, or both.

The second category of sweet tobacco e-juice is where you’ll find the best tobacco e-liquid, sweet or otherwise. This category contains vaping liquid created using only natural flavorings, which is exactly where Black Note fits in. Instead of concocting flavors using synthetic ingredients, Black Note uses an extensive extraction process that slowly and deliberately extracts the tobacco essence from real tobacco leaves.

The result is the best tobacco e-juice: tobacco vaping liquid that actually tastes like real tobacco. And if you’re going for the best sweet tobacco e liquid, we have a few tobacco blends that offer varying levels of sweetness.

Prelude is our sweetest tobacco e-liquid, containing golden Virginia tobacco. Made from fire-cured dark Virginia tobacco, Sonata is our Cavendish blend with a mildly sweet and nutty flavor. Solo is our menthol blend, giving you a semi-sweet minty taste created from natural menthol crystals extract from dried mint leaves.

For the best tobacco e-liquid that’s naturally sweet and remarkably delicious, Black Note is at your service.

WARNING: Black Note products are not smoking cessation products and have not been tested as such. Black Note products are intended for use by adults of legal smoking age (21 or older in California), and not by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Black Note products contain nicotine, a chemical known to the State of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm. Ingestion of the non-vaporized concentrated ingredients can be poisonous. Keep out of reach of children and pets. For immediate advice, contact poison control center: (800) 222-1222