E-cigarettes triple a non-smokers' chance of taking up smoking, a scientific study has found.
Research conducted by the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne also shows there is insufficient evidence e-cigarettes help smokers quit.
Lead researcher Emily Banks says vaping could undermine a smoke-free start to life.
"We found clear evidence that non-smokers who use e-cigarettes are around three times as likely to take up conventional smoking as their peers who don't use e-cigarettes," Professor Banks said on Wednesday.
"There are around 2.3 million smokers in Australia, and it is our number one cause of premature death and disability.
"Avoiding e-cigarettes in non-smokers is vital to keeping progress going against smoking."
The research was funded by the federal health department and has been handed to government.
Australia's health regulator last month formalised a ban on e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products.
Eleven per cent of Australian adults smoke daily but 97 per cent of 14 to 17 year olds have never tried a cigarette.
Researchers are concerned e-cigarettes could become a gateway to smoking for young people.
They could also make ex-smokers twice as likely to relapse.
"The evidence also indicates that e-cigarettes tend to lead to prolonged use of nicotine, rather than quitting the habit entirely," Professor Banks said.