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Vapes are harmful 

Vapes are sometimes known as e-cigarettes. Vaping can lead to addiction, poisoning, acute nicotine toxicity and lung injury.  Young people who try e-cigarettes are three times as likely to take up smoking as those who have never vaped.  

Vaping is harmful, with increasing evidence emerging of the short-term health effects. A single vape can contain the same amount of nicotine as 50 cigarettes. 

Use our form to write to your Senators and MP, and urge them to stop the next generation of Australians from becoming addicted to nicotine.

Statistics on vaping 

  • Since 2013, vaping use has grown across almost every age group in our communities.   
  • More than 30% of young Australians (14-17 year-olds) have vaped.   
  • Nearly 60% of current e-cigarettes users are under 30. Most concerningly of all, over 60% of 15–24-year-olds had never smoked when they started vaping. By comparison, just 10% of users are over 50. 
  • The latest data, from the first quarter of 2023, shows:  
      • 1 in 7 Australians aged 14-17 years of age are current vapers.  
      • 1 in 5 Australians aged 18-24 years of age are current vapers.  
  • Young Australians who vape are around 3 times more likely to take up tobacco smoking compared to young Australians who have never vaped. 
  • Data from February 2024 showed that nearly 1 in 2 Australians aged 18-24 have tried to quit vaping before.

What are vapes (e-cigarettes)?

Electronic cigarettes, or vapes, are battery operated devices that heat a liquid (sometimes called "e-liquid") to produce a vapour that users inhale.  They are designed to deliver nicotine and/or other chemicals via an aerosol vapour directly to your lungs.

All e-cigarettes have three basic components: a battery, an atomiser and a fluid cartridge. The fluid used in e-cigarettes usually contains propylene glycol, glycerol, nicotine and added flavourings.

Vapes produce harmful chemicals

Studies increasingly show that e-cigarettes emit harmful substances. A single vape can contain the same amount of nicotine as 50 cigarettes. The National Health and Medical Research Council advises that e-cigarettes may expose users to chemicals and toxins such as formaldehyde, heavy metals, particulate matter and flavouring chemicals, at levels that have the potential to cause adverse health effects. For example, propylene glycol and glycerine found in e-cigarettes when overheated can produce dangerous levels of the carcinogens formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.

Are e-cigarettes legal?  

It’s against the law for anyone to buy vapes containing nicotine without a prescription from your doctor.  

Similar to tobacco, it’s also against the law to sell any kind of vape or vaping accessory to children under 18 years old, or to buy vapes on their behalf. 

There are reforms underway that will increase penalties for the importation, manufacture, supply, advertisement and possession in commercial quantities of unlawful vapes. 

Do e-cigarettes help you quit smoking?

There is evidence to suggest that e-cigarettes may help some people to quit smoking when used under the close supervision of a doctor providing quit support. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has not approved any e-cigarette product as a cessation aid to help with quitting smoking. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has not evaluated any e-cigarette product for safety, efficacy or quality and so has not approved any e-cigarette product as a cessation aid to help with quitting smoking. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved many other products such as patches, gum, lozenges, mouth spray and inhalators as quitting aids that are safe to use and are shown to increase chances of quitting smoking.

Most people successfully quit smoking do so unassisted, supported by population-level policies such as hard-hitting anti-smoking campaigns. Others benefit from direct assistance to quit, such calling Quitline on 13 78 48 or with support from their doctor. 

There are concerns vapes may lead to smoking cigarettes among non-smokers. Studies have shown that e-cigarette users were more than three times more likely than non-e-cigarette users to subsequently become tobacco smokers.


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