Russian Roulette: Teens Suffer Seizures, Vomiting After Using Snapchat Vapes
Vaping has become a popular trend among teenagers, with many young people engaging in this activity using various devices and flavors. However, a recent alarming incident has shed light on the potential dangers associated with vaping, particularly when it comes to purchasing vape products on social media platforms like Snapchat.
In the span of just a few days, six young individuals were rushed to emergency departments in New South Wales, Australia, after experiencing severe symptoms such as seizures, loss of consciousness, and vomiting. It was discovered that these individuals had purchased vapes through sellers on Snapchat, a social media app known for its disappearing messages feature.
This incident has raised concerns among health authorities, prompting a memo to be sent to hospital doctors in the South West Sydney Local Health District. Further analysis of the products revealed that they contained nicotine, which is a controlled substance in Australia. Current laws in the country permit nicotine vapes to be purchased only by adults with a prescription and prohibit the sale of vaping products to minors.
However, advocates have highlighted loopholes in the system, pointing out that many vapes for sale in Australia do not disclose nicotine as an ingredient. This makes it easier for teenagers to access these products through convenience stores, friends, and even on social media platforms such as Snapchat. In fact, a survey conducted among young people in Australia revealed that teenagers can easily purchase vapes from various sources.
To address this issue, NSW Health has seized a significant number of illegal e-cigarette products containing nicotine being sold by retailers. The health department also urges parents to be aware of the prevalence of vaping among young people and to have open conversations with their children to discourage its use.
The dangers associated with vaping extend beyond just nicotine. Vapes for sale in the state of New South Wales have been found to contain other harmful chemicals, including those found in weedkiller and nail polish remover. A study conducted by the Australian National University revealed that certain vapes contained acetone and formaldehyde, two toxic substances.
Professor Brian Oliver, a research leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, highlights the risks involved with flavored vapes. He explains that these products contain a range of chemicals, which constantly change as manufacturers introduce new tastes and products. Oliver describes this situation as a form of Russian roulette, as users are unaware of the toxic chemicals they are exposing themselves to.
In response to the growing concerns, Health Minister Mark Butler has announced regulatory changes for the sale of e-cigarettes. These changes aim to crack down on the black market, prevent the importation of non-prescription vapes, ban disposable vapes, and mandate pharmaceutical packaging. The goal is to restrict the sale of colored and flavored products, which are believed to contribute to attracting young people to vaping.
The recent spate of adverse reactions to vapes emphasizes the need for governments to implement these proposed changes as soon as possible. The Cancer Council and the University of Sydney’s Generation Vape survey found that a significant percentage of teenagers have tried vaping, with easy access being a contributing factor.
Aside from acute reactions to nicotine, such as seizures, concerns have also been raised about young people experiencing symptoms like dizziness and breathlessness after vaping, a condition referred to as being “nic-sick.” Schools and parents have reported behavior issues caused by nicotine addiction, further emphasizing the risks associated with vaping.
In conclusion, the incident involving teens suffering seizures, vomiting, and other adverse effects after using Snapchat vapes highlights the dangers associated with underage vaping and the need for stricter regulations. It serves as a wake-up call for both parents and policymakers to address the easy accessibility and potential health risks of vaping among young people.