A five-year-old boy was hospitalised after vaping at a school in Victoria, Australia. His parents, concerned after the incident, called for placing stricter regulations to avoid further such instances. The fruit flavors of vapes are what entice kids and lead to such accidents. The root cause of the hospitalisation was the ingestion of chemicals found in the disposable vape. It was brought to school by the 5-year-old’s friend and belonged to the mother of one of the other friends who brought it to school to share it with his peers. In an interview with the Herald Sun, the boy’s father said, “The innocence about it is so dangerous. His friend brought it to school and told him to suck on it because it tastes like grapes. The vape was empty by the time we picked them up from school.”
While the incident happened weeks ago in the school playground, the boy has since been suffering from health issues. He was rushed to the hospital after coughing and vomiting on Friday. Over 2 lakh Australians are estimated to be using vapes. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) brought about stricter norms to minimise the usage of e-cigarettes to protect smokers and the non-smoking people, including young children. Vapes containing nicotine can only be legally obtained with a prescription.
In December 2021, the President of AMA, Dr. Omar Khorshid, had expressed his concern over the misconception that vaping is risk-free as compared to smoking, and explained that it poses a serious threat to young kids. He also wrote to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Australian regulatory agency, that there are sites that generate a fake prescription for the nicotine vape and promote it as a first resort smoking cessation therapy whereas it is officially recommended as the last resort.
Dr. Khorshid said that the AMA was worried for the young people who have taken to vaping.
AMA President Dr Omar Khorshid has written to the TGA expressing his concern it published a list of prescribers of nicotine vaping products, some of which “masquerade” as smoking cessation services when they do nothing more than provide easy access to nicotine vaping products.— AMA Media (@ama_media) December 17, 2021
Dr Khorshid said that the sites appeared to have the sole purpose of generating a prescription for a nicotine vaping product and promote vaping as a first-line smoking cessation therapy despite it being officially recommended to be used only as a last resort.— AMA Media (@ama_media) December 17, 2021
Statistics from 2019 suggest that about 64% of smokers and 20% of non-smokers in the age group of 24-28 have tried vaping. The most common reason people gave was their curiosity to try e-cigarettes.