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UKVIA Responds to Hospital Admission Coverage

The UK Vaping Industry Association has responded to recent media coverage about hospital admissions related to vaping amongst children

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The UK Vaping Industry Association has responded to recent media coverage about hospital admissions related to vaping amongst children. Print media raged as it railed against tobacco harm reduction products with a level of indignation that was almost completely absent from its coverage of child mental health provision collapse. Despite having been asked to moderate its coverage of vape stories by Action on Smoking and Health, the media continues to see vaping as bad news and a way of driving website clicks.

The Metro reported: “Toddlers are becoming so ill from vaping that they are ending up in hospital, the latest NHS England statistics have revealed. There were 50 admissions for vaping related disorders involving children in 2023 – including 11 aged four or under.”

The newspaper quoted outraged Jonathan Grigg, Professor of paediatric respiratory medicine at Queen Mary University of London, bleating that this situation was a “totally predictable consequence of the Tory government’s decision to allow a vaping free for all”.

What the Metro – as well as the more hysterical coverage from other tabloids and broadsheets – failed to mention was the possibility, or more likely a probability, that the bulk of these admissions were not vaping related but were the result of atomisers being used in conjunction with illegal cannabis and spice products.

The scale of the coverage and the level of hysterical outrage being expressed lays starkly at odds with the relatively muted response to other NHS data depicting the complete collapse of children’s mental health support.

Shocking new statistics show that more than a quarter of a million (270,300) children and young people are still waiting for mental health support after being referred to Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) in 2022-23, the Children’s Commissioner for England has revealed,” said the official NHS press release.

The response across the media: tumbleweeds.

The UK Vaping Industry Association responded to the media coverage about hospital admissions related to vaping amongst children. 

It said: “Firstly it should go without saying that children should not be vaping. It is illegal to sell vapes to children, but as we know, lack of government funding for Trading Standards has made policing the law difficult.

“The statistics reported in the media from this Freedom of Information request, refer to 11 under-four-year-olds being admitted to hospital. While there is no reference to what harm, if any, was caused and how such young children came to be in possession of a vape, such occurrences should not be happening. We would urge vapers to ensure they keep their devices away from children, whether they are parents or not.

“The media coverage calls for greater restrictions on vaping, which misses the point. We already have laws to protect children, we just need to enforce them. With 250 people dying every day from smoking, we have a public health duty to encourage adult smokers to quit, whether that is through the most effective method, vaping, or otherwise.”

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  • Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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