Appeal of e-cigarette flavors: Differences between never and ever use of combustible cigarettes

Alayna P. Tackett, Hongying Daisy Dai, Dae Hee Han, Erin A. Vogel, Saida I. Coreas, Nikki Jafarzadeh, Maria J. Gonzalez Anaya, Devaki Patel, Natalia Peraza, Tyler B. Mason, Adam M. Leventhal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Characterizing the appeal of flavored e-cigarette solutions by tobacco product use status can inform regulations to reduce vaping in those who never smoked without discouraging adopting e-cigarettes as a quit-smoking aid. Methods: Adults aged 21+ who currently use tobacco products (N = 119) self-administered standardized puffs of eight non-tobacco flavored and two tobacco-flavored e-cigarette solutions using a pod-style device. Participants rated appeal (0–100 scale) following each administration. Mean differences in flavor appeal ratings were compared between four groups: people who never smoked/currently vape, formerly smoked/currently vape, currently smoke/currently vape, and currently smoke/do not vape (with interest in vaping). Results: The Global Flavor (all non-tobacco vs. tobacco)×Group interaction (p = .028) revealed higher appeal for non-tobacco vs. tobacco flavors in adults who never smoked/currently vape (B[95 %CI] = 13.6[4.1–23.1]), formerly smoked/currently vape (B[95 %CI] = 11.6[4.2–18.9]), and currently smoke/currently vape (B[95 %CI] = 9.3[2.5–11.6]), but not adults who currently smoke/never vaped (B[95 %CI] = −0.1[−5.1 to 4.9]). In flavor-specific analyses, adults who never smoked/currently vape rated strawberry (p = .022), peppermint (p = .028), and menthol (p = .028) more appealing than tobacco flavors. Among adults who formerly smoked/currently vape, strawberry (p < .001), peppermint (p = .009), and vanilla (p = .009), were more appealing than tobacco. Adults who currently smoked/currently vape rated peppermint (p = .022) and vanilla (p = .009) as more appealing than tobacco. No non-tobacco flavors were more appealing than tobacco in adults who currently smoke/never vaped. Conclusions: E-cigarette sales restrictions on non-tobacco flavors, including menthol, may eliminate products preferred by adults who vape, including those who never smoked, without discouraging adults who currently smoke and never vaped from trying e-cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number109849
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Cigarette smoking
  • Dual use
  • E-cigarettes
  • Non-tobacco flavors
  • Tobacco use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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