Standardised packaging, without dramatic expressions and bright colours, attracts fewer children and minors to buy vejp products. At the same time, it also reduces the interest of adults to try e-cigs. This is according to a new UK study.
Research on young people's perceptions of vejpning, conducted at the Department of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College London, aimed to find out how the appearance of packaging and the shape of vejp products attracts purchase.
The researchers conducted a study among young people aged 16 to 19 by comparing how participants associated e-liquid packaging with injury risk and attraction.
They tested different types of packaging and found that standardised packaging (i.e. those without either logos or distinctive colours) was associated with less interest in trying the e-liquid, but also linked to perceptions of greater health risks.
Attracting fewer smokers
The researchers behind the study conclude that standardised packaging can be a method to reduce the attraction of vejpa among young people. However, they also conclude that it may also discourage smokers from switching to vejpa in order to minimise harm.
Perhaps the solution lies in one of the study's sub-questions. For young people aged 15 to 24 years, it was clear that the marketing of vejp products is targeted at their particular age group. This perception indicates that the marketing is more appealing to young people than to adults who already smoke.
Handing out free e-cigs
The use of e-cigarettes among young people has increased in the UK over the past two years. The researchers argue that this phenomenon points to a worrying trend where marketing strategies can play a significant role in attracting young and non-smoking individuals to try e-cigarettes.
The UK government recently launched a consultation process to gather suggestions on how to adjust the regulation of e-cigarettes. The aim is to keep minors and non-smokers away from e-cigarettes, while still keeping the products readily available for those who want to quit smoking. The government is also running the 'Swap to stop' project - a programme to provide one million smokers with the opportunity to try e-cigarettes, free of charge, for a period of time.