Warning as six people rushed to NSW hospitals after using vapes bought on Snapchat

A number of young people have been rushed to hospital, suffering seizures, vomiting and loss of consciousness after using vapes bought on social media, NSW Health has warned.

The six youths, who were mostly from south west Sydney, presented to NSW hospitals between June 21 and 29 with similar symptoms, a department spokesperson said.

Upon investigation, NSW Health found the vapes they purchased from social media app Snapchat contained nicotine, which cannot be sold in E-cigarettes legally without a prescription.

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“If parents or carers are concerned someone has been poisoned by liquid nicotine, call the Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26 immediately. If they have collapsed or are not breathing, immediately call 000 for an ambulance,” a spokesperson said.

E-cigarettes and e-liquids containing nicotine became a prescription only item in all Australian states from October 2021.

But authorities are concerned they are still being sold in stores and online, causing major health problems.

“Vaping places young people at risk of lifelong serious health issues, including long-lasting effects of exposing their developing brains to nicotine, as many vapes have been found to contain high levels of nicotine even when they are not labelled as such,” a NSW health spokesperson said.

“Vapes may contain dangerous chemicals, including those found in weedkiller and nail polish remover, which can cause irreversible damage to the health and development of young people.

“Health harms associated with vaping include throat irritation, cough, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and lung injury.”

There have also been reports of vapes exploding in users’ pockets, causing serious burns.

NSW Health advises any parents concerned about their children vaping to seek support.

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