The number of people in the UK who have used e-cigarettes has almost doubled in just 2 years, according to a new Europe wide study.
The research, published in the journal Tobacco Control, was conducted by scientists at Imperial College London and examined e-cigarette use - and attitudes to the devices - across the European Union between 2012 and 2014.
Throughout Europe the average number of people who had tried an e-cigarette increased by 60 per cent between 2012 and 2014, from 7.2 to 11.6 per cent. The proportion of people in the UK who had used an e-cigarette was significantly higher than the European average, having increased from 8.9 per cent to 15.5 per cent.
The research also showed the proportion of people across Europe who considered the devices dangerous had also nearly doubled, from 27 per cent to 51 per cent.
Data from 53,000 people in the EU (at least 1000 from each country) showed that France had the highest e-cigarette use, with one in five saying they had used them. France also saw the largest rise in the proportion of people who had tried an e-cigarette - nearly tripling from 7.3 per cent in 2012 to 21.3 per cent in 2014. Portugal was the country with the lowest number of people who had tried e-cigarettes, with 5.7 per cent.
The reason for the variation between nations is unknown, though possible reasons include the differences in the number of cigarette smokers, the types of smoking bans that exist in different countries, and also the levels of advertising for the devices.