E-cigarettes or vapes are becoming increasingly popular; particularly among young people.
According to a study by the University of Queensland, vaping has a low prevalence in Australia (1.1% in 2019) which is a tenth of cigarette smokers. However, the popularity of vaping is increasing, across most age groups, particularly young adults.
Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) current smokers and 1 in 5 (20%) non smokers aged 18–24 reported having tried e cigarettes.
Among those who had tried them, the frequency of use also increased, with more people using them at least monthly (from 10.3% in 2016 to 17.9% in 2019).
It’s good news that e-cigarettes or vapes are not frequently used in Australia because they can be harmful. The Lung Foundation of Australia warns that they are mislabelled, listing incorrect ingredients in 100% of cases and that 21% contained nicotine despite this being illegal in Australia.
Further 62% contained ingredients likely to cause health problems if consumed repeatedly and the remaining ingredients have unknown health consequences.
In Australia, it is illegal to use, sell or buy nicotine for use in e-cigarettes to anyone without a prescription.
This causes people to buy from overseas where the regulation of ingredients is often poor.
Some people use e-cigarettes containing nicotine with a doctor’s prescription as a means of weaning themselves from the more harmful cigarettes; however, the Lung Foundation Australia says that there is no evidence that this is effective in helping people to quit smoking.
If you or someone you care about needs help reducing or to quit their use of e-cigarettes or tobacco contact your EAP on 1800 629 277 in Australia; 0800 327 669 in New Zealand or email email@example.com