A University of Queensland researcher is conducting a study into vaping as a harm reduction strategy and how regulation affects vaping and smoking culture, with emphasis on smoking cessation.

School of Public Health Senior Research Fellow Dr Coral Gartner is seeking Australian vapers to participate in a large study to learn more about e-cigs and vaping.

In addition, Dr Gartner is investigating whether users vape e-liquid without nicotine simply to mimic the behavioural aspects of smoking, along with those who vape nicotine as a substitute for regular cigarettes.

“We are looking for 600 vapers in Australia to take part in the study which involves completing three online surveys over five years,” Dr Gartner said.

“Data from the Australian study group will also be compared to participants in Canada, the UK and the USA.”

“This is an opportunity for vapers in our community to share their experiences and tell us how regulations affect them.”

“We will look at factors such as the type of device that is used, knowledge and attitudes about smoking and vaping, and views on how these should be regulated.”

“We plan to follow participants over the five-year period to allow us to find out how their behaviour changes and how any changes in regulations during that time affect them,” she said.

To qualify for the study into how vaping helps smokers quit, participants must be 18 years or older and vaping weekly, with or without nicotine.

Recently, a top Cancer Council research described Australia’s ban on nicotine e-cigs as a “bad policy”.