E-Cigarettes and Flavors – A Guest Post from Steve K
E-Cigarettes and Flavors
I have been a fan of Steve K’s Vaping World for some time now. His blog is excellent, informative, and a great read. His tenaciousness on finding news stories on vaping and passing them along with commentary is a great asset to our vaping community. I am honored that he took the time to write a guest post for VapersVoice. If you haven’t had a chance to subscribe to his blog I highly recommend you check it out. Here is a link: Steve K’s Vaping World. – Bogey
Without further ado, here’s Steve.
You’ve read the headlines. Big Bad Tobacco attempts to lure kids with candy flavors in e-cigarettes. It’s enough to make any conscientious parent tremble in fear. After all, tobacco companies have to continually groom new customers to replace the ones they kill every year.
Of course, there’s zero truth to the claim. The Big Tobacco created e-cigarettes are all tobacco flavored with the exception of blu, but those are more or less grandfathered flavors.
But, if flavors like cotton candy and bubble gum aren’t made to appeal to kids, to whom are they made to appeal.
While my wife may refer to me as a man-child on occasion, the truth is I’m a grown ass man. And I love candy flavors. Sugary drinks too. My favorites include stuff like cherry cola and Hi-C.
I’d go into a diabetic coma if I actually continually ate saltwater taffy throughout the day. However, with e-cigarettes I can vape Nerds, cakes, milkshakes and grape until the cows come home. That’s how I like it.
In fact, it’s not that I prefer these flavors to tobacco. I actively detest most tobacco flavors. There are a few exceptions, mostly in pipe and cigar types of flavors. But, cigarette flavors. Forget it. They taste like a cross between floor wax and vomit to me.
See, something that seems to get lost in the mix in these arguments is the fact that real cigarettes tasted like… cigarettes. It’s not a flavor anyone seeks for the pure enjoyment of the taste.
You put up with the taste to get to the nicotine on the other side of that flavor. Naturally, people do have taste preferences with cigarettes, but in my mind it’s mostly a result of familiarity. There’s just a certain brand that someone might like and that taste becomes familiar, so they become used to it.
It also doesn’t help that smoking dulls your taste buds, so it disguises the horrid taste cigarettes offer. That’s where it starts to get tricky with e-cigarettes.
Many people start out with tobacco flavors because they want something as close to smoking as you can get. The problem there is that you can’t really replicate the flavor of burning stuff with no burning stuff. The result is that tobacco e-cigarettes don’t really have much in the way of a lit cigarette taste.
Then that gets even more complicated when the now former smoker’s sense of taste starts to come back and many find they don’t like tobacco flavored e-cigarettes. It doesn’t taste like the old favorite brand and tobacco flavor isn’t really necessary to get the nicotine any longer.
People then tend to start to experiment with other flavors. And yes, many find that they actually like grape or chocolate strawberries. But, these people are adults. But for some reason adults are expected to gravitate toward adult flavors, like raw tobacco leaf flavor. Because that’s totally something people naturally gravitate toward once they reach a certain age.
If not tobacco, then what kind of flavor you can have that says grownup without it being tobacco? Is there some sort of Purina accountant chow I don’t know about? Perhaps it’s the taste of middle class foreclosure. Wine. It’s probably totally wine.
Maybe we should start focusing on booze flavored e-cigarettes. But then the prohibitionist nannies would probably just accuse the industry of trying to turn our kids into lushes or something.
Which brings me to another thing that annoys me about these nattering nanny types. You ever notice the types of flavors they always rail against? It’s stuff like cotton candy and bubble gum.
Why is that do you suppose? Do they honestly think these flavors are around to attract, what, 7 year olds? After all the danger group is going to be high school kids for the most part. Is bubble gum really a big thing with that demographic any more? Do they go to sock hops and hang around the malt shop with their buddy Jughead or something?
No, the reason those flavors are singled out is because it’s something people identify more with even younger kids. You think cotton candy and bubble gum, and you do associate that with elementary school aged kids. Obviously kids that young aren’t trying e-cigarettes or it would be all over the news. Instead, by mentioning this young-skewing flavors they can infer that much better than pointing out flavors like Red Bull that are probably more likely to appeal to teens with their X-Boxes and iPads and whatnot.
The truth is if you look at one of those bubble charts that has teenagers in one circle and normal, rational people in the other, food is one of the places that bubble is going to overlap. After all, did we suddenly stop liking Kit Kats once we were old enough to buy booze?
I think when you delve deeply enough into the issue, it isn’t even a matter of people misunderstanding flavors. It’s a very cynical attempt to manipulate the emotions of people to get them to come down on the side of restriction based on the charade of protecting kids.
As for me I’m off to go buy another giant bag of M&Ms