Soda Pops are a American cultural phenomena with a majority of individuals, including children, drinking a sugary beverage every day. e-cigs and ejuice manufacturers are tapping into people’s love for Soda Pops by creating a number of soft drink flavors.
Popular flavors advertised include Root Beer, Cola, Cherry Cola, Orange Soda, and Hawaiian Punch. Some e-cig manufacturers wanting to borrow from the prestige and reputation of a particular Soda Pop manufacturer have appropriated the brand name albeit with a small change. For instance, Dessert Moon offers a Dr. Pepper Flavor and in advertising the product uses the official brand logo of the soft drink but with its name spread across the top of the image. An ad for Vapage contains images of several popular brands such as Dr. Pepper, Hawaiian Punch, Pepsi and Wrigleys in the foreground with the image of bottles of vape juices in those flavors in the background. Most e-cig brands and companies want their consumers to identify their flavors closely with popular, brand-named soda pops. As Vapor4Life1 says on its website, the idea is for consumers to think that “This vape is so authentic to your favorite soda pop that you'll think you're sipping it from a straw rather than your electronic cigarette.”
Flavored cigarettes and flavored tobacco have long been held to be gateway products for children and teens. There is now a growing concern that the use of flavored e-cigs by youth could lead to them experimenting with regular cigarettes. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that rates of e-cig use among U.S. youth more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, with 10 percent of high school students admitting to having used e-cigs. Almost 76% of youth who had tried an e-cig had also tried a regular cigarette. Altogether, in 2012 more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigs2. The widespread use of flavored e-cigs by teens have some public health advocates calling it the “Trojan horse” of nicotine addiction.
With the Federal Drug Administration opting not to ban flavors in e-cigs in its proposal in the first half of 2014, advocates fear that flavored e-cigs will serve to entice a new generation of kids to become addicted to nicotine based products.
1. Vapor4Life. Doc Popular. Available at http://www.vapor4life.com/doc-pepper-electronic-cigarette-flavor
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013). E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0905-e-cigarette-use.html