Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) can be a less harmful alternative for people who smoke tobacco. However, e-cigarettes also contain harmful and addictive substances. Its use among adolescents and non-smokers is therefore concerning to the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports.
One of the most important reasons for e-cigarette use is that their refill liquids (e-liquids) can have many different flavors. This PhD research investigated which e-liquid flavors are available on the Dutch market, which flavoring ingredients are added to e-liquids, and which e-liquid flavors are liked by potential users of e-cigarettes. Results show that there are ten thousands of e-liquids reported to be marketed in the Netherlands. These e-liquids have 245 different, mostly sweet, flavors. E-liquids mostly contain sweet and fruity flavoring ingredients (e.g., vanillin, ethyl maltol, and ethyl butyrate). Smokers are mostly interested in e-cigarettes with a tobacco or menthol/mint flavor. Non-smokers are mostly interested in sweet and menthol/mint flavors. Sensory research showed that smoking adults and non-smoking adolescents (<18 years old) and young adults (20-25 years old) equally like sweet and menthol/mint flavors. They all like these flavors clearly more than tobacco flavors.
This project is a collaboration between Wageningen University & Research and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).