Manchester Evening News

12-year-old collapsed after vaping

- By CHARLOTTE HALL

AN OLDHAM headteache­r who supports the impending disposable vape ban says one of his pupils collapsed at the school gates.

Glyn Potts, of Newman Catholic College, said the devices have become an ‘accessory to adolescent­s,’ posing a ‘huge’ health risk.

The Chadderton headteache­r spoke of an incident in which a 12-year-old pupil, who had taken a vape from his unsuspecti­ng older sibling, collapsed after inhaling.

“When he showed it to his friends on the bus on the way to school, they all encouraged him to take a big inhalation, which he did just before the bus arrived on school grounds,” he said.

“As he got off the bus, he collapsed. We had to rush him to A&E.”

The boy, who has since recovered, is one of thousands of kids to have experiment­ed with vapes. Mr Potts estimated that around 10 per cent of his students have tried the devices.

Nationally, around one in five children aged between 11 and 17 have given vaping a go, it is believed, with almost 8pc developing a habit. That’s according to Action on Smoking and Health.

Mr Potts said: “Whilst we are fairly convinced that on this occasion it was just the sheer volume of nicotine that was in the vape – which is often 12 times higher than that of a cigarette – we do know that disposable vapes are being repurposed to be filled with cannabis derivative­s and Spice. It presents a huge risk to young people.”

The government is planning to introduce a ban on the sale of disposable vapes in England, Scotland and Wales. The bill is due to pass through Parliament later this year and, with only a handful of Conservati­ve MPs objecting to the proposal, it looks likely to have an easy passage.

Mr Potts added: “Vapes have become an accessory to adolescent­s rather than a smoking cessation tool. That’s why I welcomed the ban from the government.”

He said the ban was merely a ‘first step,’ as he knows many young people acquired vapes illegally online and on the streets. These come with the additional risk of being laced with other substances.

Last year, four vapes confiscate­d in the Oldham area were found to contain spice or THC. Mr Potts added: “We’ve got to keep young people safe.” St Joseph’s RC High School head Tony McCabe appeared on ITV’s This Morning with two of his pupils earlier this week. The Bolton headteache­r also recalled an incident in which a student passed out in school within minutes of using a friend’s vape outside.

Vapes have become an accessory to adolescent­s rather than a smoking cessation tool Glyn Potts

 ?? Headteache­r Glyn Potts ?? A selection of disposable vapes with colourful packaging, and (below)
Headteache­r Glyn Potts A selection of disposable vapes with colourful packaging, and (below)

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