The number of people who have tried vaping or e-cigarettes almost doubled in two years, a new study shows.
Researchers examined the use of the devices across the European Union between 2012 and 2014.
The team, from Imperial College London, found that in the UK the proportion of people who had tried an electronic cigarette increased from 8.9% to 15.5%.
Across the EU there was an average increase of 7.2% to 11.6%, according to the study, published in the journal Tobacco Control.
The authors used data from 53,000 people in the EU. They found that the country with the highest e-cigarette use was France, with one in five people saying they had tried them.
The nation with lowest number of people who had tried an e-cigarette was Portugal.
Lead author Dr Filippos Filippidis from the School of Public Health at Imperial said: ?쏷his research shows e-cigarettes are becoming very popular across Europe ??with more than one in 10 people in Europe now having tried one of the devices.
A recent report by the Royal College of Physicians concluded that e-cigarettes (and vaping) are likely to benefit the health of the nation. The report?셲 authors suggested that e-cigarettes should be widely promoted as a substitute for smoking.
There is a possibility that the devices may result in some long-term harm because of the inhalation of the ingredients other than nicotine ??but the harm that could be caused is substantially smaller than that caused by smoking, the authors said.
Commenting on the latest study, Dr Ram Moorthy, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association?셲 Board of Science, said: ?쏣lectronic cigarettes (and vaping) have become increasingly popular since mid-2000, yet there is still a lack of robust research and evidence on their long-term safety.
?쏷his report highlights the need for a strong regulatory framework to ensure that all products on the market are safe and effective as an aid to helping smokers cut down or quit.??/p>
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