Under-tens in hospital 15 times for 'vape-related disorders' over past year

teenager vaping

Children aged as young as nine years old have been admitted to hospital for “vaping-related disorders” over the past year, NHS data shows.

Youngsters aged under ten have been admitted 15 times owing to the effects of vaping.

Meanwhile, others aged between 10 and 19 were taken to hospital 25 times. Admissions of under 20s have quadrupled since 2020.

Vaping-related disorders can include lung damage or a worsening of asthma symptoms.

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 (RCPCH) 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.

Speaking to UTV last week, 18-year-old Ruby Kelly warned that vaping had become the "new norm" for teenagers like her.

"There's all sorts of flavours, raspberry even candy floss that young ones are going to like," she said, adding that her friends have reported side effects doctors said were attributable to vaping.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS England chief, said on Wednesday that it was “right” for paediatricians to call for action on vaping among youngsters.

NHS leaders have expressed concern over the rising number of hospital admissions for vaping-related disorders among youngsters. Credit: PA

Addressing the NHS ConfedExpo conference, Ms Pritchard said: “In 1948 more than eight out of 10 men smoked, now it’s more like one in eight.

“For the most part, a success of wider public policy and also, particularly over the last few years, a success of innovation with the advent of e-cigarettes encouraging many former smokers to switch.

“But with that innovation has come a new challenge – the availability and attractiveness of e-cigarettes to our young people.

“The report last week from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health of children presenting to hospital with conditions that can be linked to vaping was really worrying.

“And that is coming through in the figures – last year there were 40 admission episodes of under-20s for vaping-related disorders, up from 11 two years before."

Admission episodes could see the same child admitted several times.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said a new government crackdown on vape marketing will prevent the “unacceptable” targeting of children and young people, with a pledge to close a loophole allowing retailers to give free samples of vapes to children in England.

The PM also used an appearance on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to express concern about his own daughters potentially being targeted by vape marketing.

The government has said that there will also be a review into banning retailers selling “nicotine-free” vapes to under-18s.

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