Concerning new research into vaping has found that e-cigarette use triples the chance of a non-smoker taking up regular cigarettes.
The Australian National University’s (ANU) national centre for epidemiology and population health found vaping is a clear gateway to smoking, especially among young people.
Lead researcher Professor Emily Banks told Sunrise that her team came to the shock conclusion after examining 25 studies on e-cigarette use and smoking uptake from around the world.
“Every single one of those studies found that people who were non-smokers and used e-cigarettes were more likely to take up conventional smoking than people who were non-smokers who had never used e-cigarettes,” she said.
“When we average that, people who used e-cigarettes were around three times more likely to take up conventional smoking.”
Smoking rates have rapidly declined in Australia in recent years, but vape use has increased.
E-cigarette use has soared in popularity over the past decade. Credit: AndreyPopov/Getty Images/iStockphoto
“Australia is the world leader in tobacco control and we now have 11 per cent of Australians smoking daily which is significantly down from 12.2 per cent in 2006,” Banks said.
Despite this, smoking remains Australia’s leading cause of preventable disease and death.
Banks also says the ”jury is out” on whether e-cigarettes can help people give up smoking.
“The quality of evidence is very low and we really can’t conclude that it’s an effective treatment.”