24 June 2023
By Abbie Jones, BBC
A woman who became addicted to vaping at the age of 16 has warned of the struggles she has faced, claiming e-cigarettes have ruined her life.
Belle Moore, now 19, from Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, said she felt she has “no control over it” and now needed to vape every couple of hours.
“I start to get shaky and it’s almost all I can think of,” she said.
She has revealed her story after public health bosses called on the government to do more to stop young people vaping.
Belle said she started vaping through peer-pressure from some of her college friends, and used to hide it from her mother.
She has since made two unsuccessful attempts to stop vaping but says she has now also become addicted to cigarettes.
“It honestly feels like I have no control over it,” she told BBC North West Tonight.
She said she was able to buy vapes at 16 at a shop, which did not ask for identification even though she looked much younger than her age.
It is currently illegal to sell vapes to anyone under the age of 18.
Earlier this week, nine directors of public health operating in Cheshire and Merseyside called for a country-wide ban on sales of disposable vapes.
They said the rapid rise of vaping was alarming and the vapes may have unidentified ingredients that could be harmful.
The government previously said it was taking “bold action” to crack down on youth vaping.
Belle’s mother Lynne said she hated watching her daughter vape, adding something “drastic” needed to be done.
“I hate that she feels the need to do it, because she’s addicted and it’s so hard for her to stop,” she said.
“I hate that she’s got to use her hard-earned cash to buy vapes and cigarettes because of the addiction.”
Belle said she had decided to share her story try to stop others from facing the same difficulties.
“I know how much of a struggle it’s been for me,” she said.
“I have started coughing more and getting sick easier.
“If there’s anyone who is thinking of starting vaping or starting smoking, if they’re younger don’t because it can honestly just ruin your life.”