Understanding the health effects of electronic cigarettes

Researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute are looking for 2 research buddies to provide input into a new grant application on e-cigarettes. The results of the study aim to provide information that can be used when making decisions about government policy on this topic.


Electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”) vaporise a liquid “e-juice” and produce an aerosol, which is inhaled. Their use is widespread and increasing rapidly especially in teenagers. In many countries, the number of people regularly using e-cigarettes is doubling annually. There are an estimated 200,000 current Australian users.

Despite the number of users, the potential for e-cigarette use to impact health is virtually unknown. The limited information that currently exists suggests that they are likely to be bad for your health, although probably not as bad as traditional tobacco cigarettes. There is also evidence to suggest that pregnant women are more likely to use them compared with conventional cigarettes, although we do not know their effects on the developing baby. Additionally, it appears that the type of e-cigarette and e-juice used can significantly influence health outcomes.

In Australia, the laws surrounding the importation, sale and use of e-cigarettes are vague. Information about their potential impact on health is urgently required. Our project hopes to provide high quality scientific information that could then be used by Government policy makers. We also hope to provide information that will enable medical associations to give informed recommendations.

Who can be a Research Buddy?

Consumers and community members with an interest in: 

  • What impact e-cigarettes might have on health
  • Government policy on e-cigarettes

Links to the wider community are desirable.

What is expected of committee members?

  • Provide input into the grant application and dissemination strategies
  • Provide a community and 'lived experience' perspective

Where and when will meeting be held?

Meetings will be held twice a year at a mutually agreed time at Telethon Kids Institute in Subiaco. Once the project is funded consumers are asked to be involved for 3 years.

What support is offered?

  • The Consumer and Community Involvement Program will support the consumer representative
  • An honorarium to cover out-of-pocket expenses will be paid for each meeting attended
  • Training relevant to the consumer representative role will be made available to the consumer representative

Closing date

31st January 2016

If you have any questions about being a research buddy please contact us. You can apply for this position by completing the form to the right