A new study from Imperial College London has found that e-cigarette use has significantly increased over the past few years.
The Europe-wide research found that the number of people in the UK who have tried e-cigarettes has nearly doubled in just two years, rising from 8.9 per cent to 15.5 per cent, which was well above the European average rate of growth.
However, it seems that opinions are still mixed on the devices and whether or not they can be beneficial compared to tobacco.
The study also found that there was an increase in the number of people who consider the devices dangerous, rising from 27 per cent to 51 per cent over the same two-year period.
Published in the journal Tobacco Control, the research calls for further investigation to determine whether the risks outweigh the potential benefits of the devices.
E-cigarettes work by delivering nicotine as a vapour into the lungs. Nicotine is stored in a solution of either propylene glycol or glycerine and water, but this is evaporated when a person uses the device.
Dr Filippos Filippidis, lead author of the study from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, said the research shows that e-cigarettes are becoming very popular across Europe, with more than one in ten people having tried them.
However, there is still a debate about the risks and benefits associated with e-cigarettes.
Dr Filippidis said: "For instance, we don't know whether we may start to see diseases emerge in ten to 20 years' time associated with some of the ingredients. We urgently need more research into the devices so that we can answer these questions."
The study looked at data from over 53,000 Europeans and found that average use increased by 60 per cent across the continent between 2012 and 2014.
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