25 June 2023
By Daisy Graham-Brown, Daily Mail
Primary school children are being hospitalised with collapsed and bleeding lungs due to their excessive use of illegally sold vapes.
In the year to April there were at least 15 cases where children aged nine or under had to be admitted to hospital, up from 12 last year and two the year before that.
The figures from NHS England show that in total 40 young people under the age of 19 were admitted to hospital over the past year as a result of excessive vaping.
Professor Andy Bush, a paediatric chest physician at the Royal Brompton Hospital in west London said that vapes are especially dangerous because ‘we just do not know what is in most of these things’.
He told Sky News: ‘If a teenager starts smoking cigarettes, probably the worst that’s going to happen to them is they’re going to be sick and throw up behind the bike shed.
‘The acute use of e-cigarettes can put them in hospital, can put them in intensive care, things like lung bleeding, lung collapse and air leak, the lungs filling up with fat.’ Earlier this month paediatricians warned that ‘youth vaping is fast becoming an epidemic among children’ as they called on the Government to ban disposable vapes.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health warned that e-cigarettes ‘are not a risk-free product and can be just as addictive, if not more so than traditional cigarettes’.
It called for urgent action to protect youngsters, saying experts agree that longer-term data is needed on the effects of vaping, particularly in regard to cardiovascular disease.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS England chief, said: ‘It is seriously concerning that admissions for vaping-related conditions for young people are up almost fourfold over the past two years.
‘While to many young people vaping can seem harmless with their deliberately appealing flavours – at least two people in every year 10 classroom have vaped at one point or another – its use can lead to lung damage.
‘So it’s really important we nip this in the bud so we can keep young people out of hospital and prevent future health issues.’ Last month Rishi Sunak announced new plans to clamp down on vapes being illegally sold to children, including the setting up of an ‘illicit vape enforcement squad’ at a cost of £3million.
The Prime Minister said: ‘I am deeply concerned about the sharp rise in kids vaping and shocked by reports of illicit vapes containing lead getting into the hands of school children.’ He added: ‘The marketing and the illegal sales of vapes to children is completely unacceptable and I will do everything in my power to end this practice for good.’