The facts surrounding the rise of the e-cigarette.
1 Usually powered by a rechargeable battery, electronic cigarettes allow users to simulate smoking by vaporising liquid nicotine and other additives. They contain no tobacco.
2 More than 95pc of e-cigarettes are produced in Shenzhen, southern China. The city consequently has one of the busiest ports in the world and its economic output is bigger than Ireland's.
3 E-cigarettes were invented in 2003, and were available to buy by 2005. Brazil, Norway and Singapore are among the countries to have banned them completely from public places.
4 Advocates argue that vaping is preferable to smoking, but health organisations maintain that a lack of long-term scientific evidence means this assertion cannot be upheld.
5 Forbes estimates global worth could increase to €7.5bn by 2017. Some analysts predict that e-cigarette usage will overtake combustible cigarettes within a decade.
6 In Ireland the industry remains unregulated, but the Government says it is currently working on draft legislation.
Health & Living