SYDNEY, March 28 (Xinhua) -- A new study by the George Institute for Global Health has suggested that a growing amount of young people in Australia may be exposed to e-cigarettes in multiple ways, despite restrictions on e-cigarette availability and promotion.
The research, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health on Sunday, involved a national sample of 1,006 Australians, aged 15-30 years, for an online survey.
Results showed that among all respondents, 14 percent reported being a current e-cigarette user, while an additional 33 percent acknowledged having tried or used e-cigarettes in the past.
"The current use prevalence of 14 percent found in this sample is substantially larger than the 4.5 percent of 15-24 year olds and 4.8 percent of 25-29 year olds who reported current e-cigarette use in the 2019 National Drug Study Household Survey," the study wrote.
There are 129 respondents who reported using e-cigarettes and vaping at least once per month.
The most frequently selected reason for using e-cigarettes was "a friend used them," which was nominated as a motivation for use by 61 percent of the at least monthly e-cigarette users.
Meanwhile, among all the children, those aged below 18, in the sample, most considered it "somewhat easy" or "easy" to purchase e-cigarettes online or in store.
The study also noted that around one-quarter of the non-vapers in the sample expressed curiosity about e-cigarettes, which is concerning, as curiosity has been identified as a significant contributor to e-cigarette use intentions and actual use among youngsters.
"Our study suggests a need for much greater monitoring and enforcement of Australia's e-cigarette regulations to minimize harm to young people from vaping," Simone Pettigrew, lead author and professor from the George Institute for Global Health, said on Tuesday.
"It also reinforces the importance of focusing on environments where young people see others vaping, for example in schools, colleges and universities, and providing education about the dangers associated with it," Pettigrew added.