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E-cigarette Surveillance Project

E-cigarette surveillance project
Date Commenced:
May 2020
Expected Date of Completion:
December 2020
Project Supporters:

Commonwealth Department of Health 

Drug Type:
Project Members: 
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Dr Emily Stockings
Senior Lecturer
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Deputy Director, NDARC and Program Lead, Drug Trends
Ph +61 (2) 9385 0333
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Ph EA Tori Barnes: 02 9385 0292 / t.barnes@unsw.edu.au
Project Main Description: 

E-cigarette use has increased rapidly worldwide since their introduction to markets in the mid-to-late 2000's, particularly among young people. There remains substantial global debate regarding the safety and efficacy of these devices, and how they should be regulated. In Australia, laws and regulations covering e-cigarettes are complex and vary by jurisdiction. NDARC has been requested by the Commonwealth Department of Health to provide a comprehensive assessment of electronic cigarette (‘e-cigarette’) use, related harms, and trends in Australia and internationally in order to advise e-cigarette regulations. The ‘E-cigarette Surveillance Project’ will develop and test the feasibility of a ‘surveillance system’ to collate potential data sources that provide information about the use and harms relating to e-cigarettes in Australia, including from surface and dark net online e-cigarette retailers, existing national surveys and other ongoing data collection activities, reviews of the evidence, online news and social media sources, and via liaison with stakeholders and key experts in the field. The project will adopt novel methods to respond to the challenges posed by rapid changes in e-cigarette use and availability and will utilise innovative communication strategies to disseminate these data on a regular and timely basis to key stakeholders. 


The aim of this report is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of e-cigarette use, related harms and trends in Australia and internationally, from several different but complementary sources, with a focus on children and young people. This project comprises five key components:

  1. E-cigarette use and COVID-19 disease progression;
  2. Surveillance: timely data indicating changes in e-cigarette use and related harms in Australia;
  3. The epidemiology of use, harms and regulations in Australia and internationally;
  4. Current public views/responses to vaping in social media; and
  5. Industry market activity. 
Opportunities (Scholarships, Grants and Research Positions): 

For current job opportunities on this project, please contact Dr Emily Stockings, e.stockings@unsw.edu.au


The findings of this project will be instrumental in advising updates to regulations of e-cigarettes within Australia, and also for communicating the latest evidence on safety, harms and efficacy of e-cigarettes. 

Drug Type: 
Project Status: