Using electronic cigarettes (vaping) is controversial, but is increasingly widespread. This paper reports the results of an electronic survey of vapers in New Zealand, a country where the sale and supply of e-liquids containing nicotine is illegal, although vapers can legally access e-liquids from overseas. An on-line survey was conducted, using vaper and smoking cessation networks for recruitment, with follow up surveys conducted 1 and 2 months after the initial survey. 218 participants were recruited. Almost all had been smokers, but three quarters no longer smoked, with the remainder having significantly reduced their tobacco use. Three participants were non-smokers before starting to vape, but none had gone on to become smokers. The overriding motivation to begin and continue vaping was to stop or to reduce smoking. The results were consistent with a progression from initially both vaping and smoking using less effective electronic cigarette types, then moving to more powerful devices, experimentation with flavors and nicotine strengths-all resulting in reducing or stopping tobacco use. Lack of access to nicotine and lack of support for their chosen cessation method were the main problems reported. Vaping had resulted in effective smoking cessation for the majority of participants.
Keywords: electronic cigarettes; nicotine; smoking cessation; tobacco dependence; vaping.