CSIRO recently undertook a scientific literature review into the use and health impacts of e-cigarettes and personal vaporisers.

The review was commissioned by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Smoking rates in Australia have been declining since 1945, with the most recent data indicating that 14 per cent of adults currently smoke.

On average, less than eight per cent of Australian's smoke e-cigarettes, and many of these users have only used them once or twice.

There is a lack of conclusive evidence that identifies the health impacts of e-cigarettes partly because the technology has not been in place long enough for long-term health studies to occur. The evidence that is available suggests that regular use of e-cigarettes is likely to have adverse health consequences, however the level and type of health effects, as well as the quantity of e-cigarette use required to trigger these impacts is not known.

More adolescents and young adults have tried e-cigarettes than any other age group and most adolescent users of e-cigarettes also smoke regular cigarettes.

It is likely that there are overall health benefits in replacing regular cigarette with e-cigarette use. However, the health effects are likely to differ according to what devices and fluids are used, how they are used, and who uses them. While many smokers and former smokers state a preference for e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation method, the effectiveness of this method compared with other smoking cessation methods is not known.

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