Feature Article

Vaping in young people: lives up in smoke

Feature Article

Vaping in young people: lives up in smoke

VIKRAM PALIT, BRONWYN MILNE, MOYA VANDELEUR

Figures

© PHANIES/VOISIN/DIOMEDIA.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY
© PHANIES/VOISIN/DIOMEDIA.COM MODEL USED FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

Abstract

E-cigarette use (‘vaping’) is increasing among adolescents and young people in Australia but carries significant health risks and is subject to strict regulations. GPs are well positioned to identify their young patients who use e-cigarettes, assess and intervene early to help reduce vaping-related harms.
Note
The report of an Australian case of EVALI (e‐cigarette or vaping product use‐associated lung injury) referred to in this article was published on 4 October 2021. The online full text and PDF versions (see link above) of this article have been updated with the reference.

Key Points

  • E-cigarette use (‘vaping’) is increasing in popularity among young people in Australia.
  • Vaping is associated with multiple adverse health effects, including increased risks of respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease and nicotine addiction, and there is growing evidence that e-cigarette use is a precursor to conventional tobacco smoking.
  • Australia has a strong regulatory framework that limits the use, supply and availability of e-cigarettes and vaping devices.
  • Assessment of young people is key to preventing harms - ask about vaping, screen for patterns of use and assess risk to identify any comorbid physical or mental health issues.
  • E-cigarettes should not be recommended as smoking cessation aids in young people.