Vapes (or e-cigarettes) are devices that heat a liquid to create an aerosol that users inhale. Some vapes contain nicotine (even if it is not listed as an ingredient on the label [47541]). Vaping prevalence in Australia, especially among young people, has increased greatly in recent years [40728]. The evidence is still emerging about the harms of vaping, and is currently insufficient to be sure of the long-term harms. It is currently known that vaping may cause:

  • injuries (poisoning, burns and seizures)
  • e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI)
  • nicotine dependence
  • increased uptake of tobacco use among non-smokers [46823].

In Australia, you can only purchase nicotine vapes or nicotine refills if you are an adult with a valid prescription [44426]. The evidence for whether vaping is an effective method for quitting smoking is still not clear and it is not recommended as a first-line treatment [46982].

Data on vaping prevalence is limited. Figures from 2018/19 indicated that less than one in ten Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults had tried vaping, and around 1 in 100 currently vaped. Vaping is more common among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are younger, male and living in non-remote areas [40033].

For a summary of statistical information updated annually on vaping among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, see the latest Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health status.


Key resources



Panarringkarra by Jukuja Dolly Snell

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