MIL-OSI Australia: V is for Vaping

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Source: State Library of NSW

The use of e-cigarettes, commonly referred to as vaping, is on the rise, even as smoking continues to decline among Australians of all ages. The 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey reported that 11% of respondents were daily smokers, down from 12.2% in 2016 and 24% in 1991. Conversely, use of e-cigarettes between 2016 and 2019 increased, with lifetime use among smokers rising from 31% to 39% between 2016 and 2019 and among non-smokers from 4.9% to 6.9%. 

Drug Info’s A-Z of Drugs provides quality, up-to-date information about a range of drugs used in the community. The A-Z of Drugs has been updated to include a page on vaping. Here you will find a range of useful information, including the long and short-term effects of e-cigarettes, usage statistics, street names, legal information, and where to go to get help. 

The Drug Info team have also updated our Drug and Alcohol Information for PDHPE Students research guide to include a page on vaping.

Vaping at a glance

  • E-cigarettes, or electronic cigarettes, are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid, called ‘e-liquid’ and sold in a variety of flavours, into a vapour that users inhale. Inhaling this vapour is commonly referred to as ‘vaping’.
  • E-cigarettes that contain nicotine are illegal in NSW.
  • Measuring the long-term effects of vaping is difficult due to the fact that it is relatively new. Researching vaping is also complicated by the variance in chemical make-up of various e-liquids.  
  • There is no safe amount of smoking while pregnant. Given the presence of nicotine and other chemicals in e-liquid, vaping while pregnant is not recommended.
  • Testing has shown that some e-liquid labelled ‘nicotine free’ actually contains high nicotine levels, leading to the possibility of people unknowingly developing a nicotine addiction.

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