Vaping triples non-smokers’ chances of taking up smoking cigarettes, study finds

  • E-cigarettes triple non-smokers’ chances of taking up smoking, a study found
  • Research was by the Australian National University and University of Melbourne
  • Researcher Emily Banks says vaping could undermine a smoke-free start to life

E-cigarettes triple non-smokers’ chances of taking up smoking, a scientific study has found.

Research conducted by the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne also shows there is insufficient evidence e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

Lead researcher Emily Banks says vaping could undermine a smoke-free start to life.

E-cigarettes triple non-smokers' chances of taking up smoking, a scientific study has found (file picture)

E-cigarettes triple non-smokers’ chances of taking up smoking, a scientific study has found (file picture)

‘We found clear evidence that non-smokers who use e-cigarettes are around three times as likely to take up conventional smoking as their peers who don’t use e-cigarettes,’ Professor Banks said on Wednesday.

‘There are around 2.3million smokers in Australia, and it is our number one cause of premature death and disability.

‘Avoiding e-cigarettes in non-smokers is vital to keeping progress going against smoking.’

The research was funded by the federal health department and has been handed to government.

Australia’s health regulator last month formalised a ban on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.

Eleven per cent of Australian adults smoke daily but 97 per cent of 14 to 17 year olds have never tried a cigarette.

Researchers are concerned e-cigarettes could become a gateway to smoking for young people.

They could also make ex-smokers twice as likely to relapse.

‘The evidence also indicates that e-cigarettes tend to lead to prolonged use of nicotine, rather than quitting the habit entirely,’ Professor Banks said.

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