E-CIGARETTES may be causing people to take up smoking rather than quitting, reveals a new study.

The research shows the vast majority of young adults who have used the devices believe they are less harmful than regular cigarettes, despite any evidence that they are a safe alternative to regular cigarettes.

The Social Science Research Centre, and co-ordinator, Tobacco Control Unit, Department of Psychology, Mississippi State University undertook the study to find a reason behind the recent increase in young people using electronic cigarettes.

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E-cigarettes, which create a vapour containing nicotine as a smoke substitute, were initially released as a device to help smokers quit, however the study showed that they can have the opposite effect.