Mum's plea after girl, 11, rushed to hospital after vaping
- Credit: Trading Standards/Holly Smith
A mother is calling for action on the sale of illegal e-cigarettes to children after her daughter was rushed to hospital after vaping.
Holly Smith, of Louise Close, Great Yarmouth, said Ruby, 11, was extremely lethargic and could hardly stand after trying the fake vape purchased illegally by a child for as little as £8.
The 29-year-old said she knew her daughter had "taken something" and was rushed by ambulance to Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital.
Miss Smith is now calling for action over under-age sales of disposable vapes, which are often attractively packaged, brightly coloured, and advertised as having fruity flavours.
Illegal versions can contain twice the legal amount of nicotine and cause "unexpected harm."
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," she said.
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"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."
Miss Smith, a housekeeper, said there were a number of health risks associated with vaping, including lung damage and tumours, and is calling on Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis to tackle the issue.
Trading Standards at Norfolk County Council said it had received six complaints since April 1 this year about traders in Yarmouth involving under age vape sales, three about the same trader.
Generally there was "a worrying increase" in complaints.
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".
Mr Lewis said he was aware of issues regarding access to vaping products and alleged under-age sales in Great Yarmouth which he was following up.
He added: "I would urge anyone who has concerns regarding this or any other matter to contact me at email@example.com “
The sale of any nicotine product, including e-cigarettes, to people under the age of 18, is against the law in the UK.
To report businesses selling illegal or age-restricted products to under-age children call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on freephone 0808 223 1133.