Girl, 11, is rushed to hospital after vaping as mother warns parents over them being sold to kids

A young girl wash rushed to hospital after she managed to use an illegal fake vape, which can contain twice the legal amount of nicotine.

Mother Holly Smith, 29, was panicked and knew something was wrong when she found her 11-year-old daughter was extremely lethargic and could hardly stand.

Miss Smith said she knew her daughter had ‘taken something’ and called an ambulance for her daughter.

The mother is now calling for action on the sale of illegal e-cigarettes to children, which can be bought for a little as £4.

Disposable vapes are often brightly coloured and advertised as having fruity flavours, drawing the attention of children.

But Miss Smith says under-age sales of the vapes needs to be stopped now.

Holly Smith, 29, had to call an ambulance for her 11-year-old daughter after she used an illegal vape, which often have high levels of nicotine and can cause ‘unexpected harm’

E-cigarettes (middle) are often colourfully decorated and have child-friendly packaging, which Miss Smith says needs to stop

E-cigarettes (middle) are often colourfully decorated and have child-friendly packaging, which Miss Smith says needs to stop

Hundreds of illegal e-cigarettes were seized from a shop in Norfolk this year (pictured), with several complaints having been made over the sale of vapes to children in Miss Smith's town of Yarmouth

Hundreds of illegal e-cigarettes were seized from a shop in Norfolk this year (pictured), with several complaints having been made over the sale of vapes to children in Miss Smith’s town of Yarmouth

Speaking to the EDP, Miss Smith said she was aware of children as young as nine routinely buying vapes from unscrupulous retailers.

‘I do not understand why they are so available.

‘I think it is disgusting. They should take them off the shelves and hide them like they do cigarettes. They should not be within arm’s reach.’

Selling vapes and cigarettes should be permanently banned says review

Today’s children should be banned from ever being able to buy cigarettes and smoking in pub gardens should be made illegal, according to radical recommendations unveiled last week.

The age limit for purchasing cigarettes or vapes in England, currently set at 18, should rise by 12 months every year until no one can legally buy a tobacco product, the Government-commissioned review set out.

Former Health Secretary Sajid Javid tasked former children’s charity chief Javed Khan with finding ways England could be smoke-free by 2030 — defined as less than five per cent of people smoking, compared to the current 15 per cent.

Ministers are expected to reject the proposed policy, which is being rolled out in New Zealand and means anyone born after 2008 will never be able to buy cigarettes. However, Mr Javid said the Government will ‘carefully consider’ all 15 of the ‘clear and challenging’ recommendations.

Among the bold proposals includes getting NHS doctors to prescribe e-cigarettes and vapes to smokers, in order to help them quit. 

The Government should make ‘the polluter pay’ by forcing the ‘dying’ tobacco industry pay an extra £70million in tax every year to fund towards a £125million fund to support quitting and e-cigarettes on the NHS, the report says. 

It also calls for supermarkets and websites to be banned from selling tobacco, while retailers should be forced to apply for a tobacco license to limit where cigarettes can be sold.

Miss Smith, a housekeeper, said there were a number of health risks associated with vaping, including lung damage and tumours, and is calling on her Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis to tackle the issue.

In Yarmouth, where Miss Smith lives, there have been six complaints since April 1 about traders involving under age vape sales, including three about the same trader, according to Trading Standards at Norfolk County Council.

Earlier this year inspectors found thousands of illegal e-cigarettes offered for sale across the county, with 350 seized from a shop in King’s Lynn.

The products have been found to contain more than twice the legal maximum level of nicotine and three times the maximum volume of liquid and could cause ‘unexpected harm’.

The number of children who regularly use e-cigarettes has nearly doubled in two years, a Government-funded report warned.

Experts have blamed the rise on social media sites like TikTok, where videos showing off vape smoke tricks have racked up tens of millions of views.

The report, which surveyed 2,000 British children, found one in 14 over-11s (7 per cent) now use e-cigarettes routinely, compared to four per cent in 2020.

And the share who have tried the devices has jumped to 16 per cent over the same period. Almost half of users had watched vape videos on TikTok, Instagram or Snapchat. 

Some 52 per cent of youngsters who vaped said disposable e-cigarettes were their favoured product – a dramatic rise on the 7 per cent who said the same thing in 2020.

Costing as little as £4 each and the size of a highlighter pen, these Chinese-made electronic cigarettes have taken the market by storm.

With a built-in battery, they can be used straight from the box, delivering the nicotine equivalent of about 50 cigarettes.

It is illegal to sell them to anyone under the age of 18, but they are widely available to youngsters through TikTok and Instagram.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), has called for more funding to enforce laws against underage sales and action on child-friendly packaging and labelling, as well as promotion on social media. 

She said it was ‘no wonder’ the devices are becoming increasingly attractive to children.

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