E-cigarettes and vaping
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, are battery operated products that replicate smoking.
How e-cigarettes work
- E-cigarettes work by heating a cartridge that contains liquid.
- The heating process creates an aerosol that resembles tobacco smoke.
- E-cigarette aerosol is not water vapour.
- E-cigarettes are commonly called “vapes” and the action of using them “vaping”.
Do you know what you're vaping?
- E-cigarettes contain:
- the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray
- toxins such as formaldehyde and heavy metals
- flavouring chemicals
- Many e-cigarettes also contain nicotine even if labelled ‘nicotine free’. Nicotine is addictive. The nicotine in one e-cigarette can be equivalent to 50 cigarettes.
- The quality and safety of e-cigarette products has not been assessed and can vary in the amount and type of chemicals they contain.
How using e-cigarettes harm the body
- E-cigarettes contain corrosive chemicals that do not belong in our lungs.
- E-cigarettes have been linked with immediate harms including respiratory illness, serious lung disease and death.
- The nicotine in e-cigarettes can cause addiction and increase the risk of anxiety and depression.
- A young person’s brain develops until the age of 25 and is particularly vulnerable to the effects of nicotine.
- Early exposure to nicotine has been shown to negatively affect the structure and function of the brain.
Vaping and young people
- E-cigarette use is increasing among young people.
- Knowing the facts about vaping is part of Tasmania’s approach to respond to e-cigarette use in schools.
- Tasmanian schools are required to be smoke free (this also means vape free).
- Schools are further supported through information about e-cigarettes in the curriculum, evidence-based resources, training and support.
Need help or support to quit vaping or smoking?
- Phone a Quitline advisor on 13 78 48 (free service).
- See your doctor or pharmacist for advice on different ways to help with quitting.
- Speak with a trusted person such as family or friends.
- If you are a young person, you can talk to:
- support person at school such as a school health nurse, teacher, social worker, or psychologist, or
- youth health worker or nurse at a youth health centre.
Smoke free and other e-cigarette laws in Tasmania
- You cannot use e-cigarettes in public areas that are smoke free. Smoke free also means vape free. Smoke free and vape free signage is available for organisations to display.
- Most laws that exist around cigarettes are similar for e-cigarettes.
- A person under 18 years of age cannot buy, possess, or use e-cigarettes.
- A person over 18 cannot give or sell e-cigarettes to a person under 18.
- Shops in Tasmania who sell e-cigarettes require a smoking product licence and can only sell “nicotine free” e-cigarettes to people over 18.
- Pharmacies with a smoking product licence can sell e-cigarettes containing nicotine to people with a prescription from a doctor.
- There are restrictions about displaying, advertising, or selling e-cigarettes to people under 18.
Do e-cigarettes help people wanting to quit smoking?
- There are no e-cigarette products approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
- E-cigarettes are not proven safe and effective smoking cessation aids.
- If other smoking cessation aids have failed, short-term e-cigarette use may be of benefit to help you quit smoking.
- It is recommended that you speak to your doctor or healthcare provider if you want more information about quitting smoking.
Resources and more information about e-cigarettes
- Resources for young people
- Resources for teachers and schools
- Resources for parents and carers
- Smoke free and vape free signage – for businesses
- Learn about e-cigarettes and severe lung illness on the Australian Government Department of Health website
- View the Public Health Act 1997
Department of Health Tasmania acknowledges NSW Health’s authorship and ownership of Do you know what you’re vaping? campaign. The campaign and resources are evidence based (see Vaping evidence summary – Tobacco and smoking).