Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a global phenomenon. These diverse devices have surged in popularity since their introduction to the market just over a decade ago.1,2 E-cigarettes have, however, been subject…
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This study summarises current research on the use of e-cigarettes in New Zealand. The study found that the number of people who have ever used an e-cigarette has increased over time. However, the number of New Zealanders who regularly use e-cigarettes remains low. Most people who use e-cigarettes are smokers or ex-smokers. While people commonly first try an e-cigarette because they are curious, many hope to reduce the number of tobacco cigarettes they smoke, or quit smoking. Further research is needed to monitor the use of e-cigarettes in New Zealand and any impact this may have on smoking rates.
This study aimed to systematically review the literature on e-cigarette use in New Zealand, focusing on prevalence, rationale for use, perceptions and exposure to the devices.
Six databases were systematically searched for articles regarding e-cigarette use in New Zealand, supplemented with a grey literature search. Seven hundred and eighteen abstracts were identified and full text of 100 articles reviewed. Studies addressing prevalence of and rationale for use, perceptions of and exposure to e-cigarettes were included. Relevant data were synthesised in a narrative summary.
Fourteen studies addressed aspects of e-cigarette use in New Zealand, published between 2010 and 2017. Ever-use of e-cigarettes among adults and adolescents has increased, although current use remains low. Smoking strongly predicts use, and ever-use may decrease with age. Investigation of other predictors has been hindered by low prevalence and small samples. While curiosity is commonly cited for sampling e-cigarettes, many smokers are drawn by harm reduction or cessation. More complex motivators are becoming evident. Although exposure to e-cigarettes is common, many remain uncertain about their harm relative to tobacco.
While the available evidence provides an overview of current use, exposure and acceptance of e-cigarettes in New Zealand, it highlights knowledge deficits and informs future monitoring.