The number of children who have found themselves hospitalised for vaping has quadrupled in the past year, it has been revealed.
In 2021, NHS Digital reported that eight children under the age of 18 were hospitalised for vaping, and this number has since increased to 32 admissions in 2022.
Calls are now being made for stricter regulations when it comes to the sale of vapes.
Last month, Waitrose announced that they had banned the sale of single-use vapes altogether, with their commercial director, Charlotte Di Cello, saying that it was something they 'couldn't justify given the impact on both the environment and the health of young people'.
They added in a statement: "Our move comes as reports suggest that the market growth is being fuelled by the popularity among those who haven't previously smoked."
Meanwhile, police and local councils are cracking down on any outlets that are illegally selling the devices to under 18s.
Charlie, from London, said she couldn't believe it when her 13-year-old sister told her that she was addicted to vaping.
She told LBC: "She, at that point in nine months, had racked up over £2,000 on vapes and had a massive collection of them - like every brand, every flavour.
"It was a massive binful - and she was definitely glorifying it. She saw them as being kind of like collectables, like when we were younger, we used to collect cards, except I guess now teenagers collect vapes.
"It got to a point, though, where she had like a 60-year-old smoker's cough, like that really deep Covid cough. She's always had really beautiful skin but she started looking a bit grey.
"She ended up texting me at like 1 am during the week saying 'I need to go to hospital' - but she was worried about mum finding out about her vaping."
To put the scale of the problem into context, a survey by ASH concluded that around 17 percent of 11 to 17-year-olds had tried it at least once.
While a concerning seven percent of children in this group added that they consider themselves to be regular vapers.
One mum, Kelly, said she discovered texts on her 12-year-old daughter's phone which showed that they were allegedly being sold illegally at her school.
She said the pupil in question was apparently buying the devices using his mum's Amazon account.
"I found the text on her phone, where [her classmate] was saying 'if I sell two more, I get free delivery,'" she said.
"And this was at like 11 pm on a Sunday, so he was clearly buying them to sell in the playground through the week - taking orders and dishing them out.
"Some are stealing them from their parents too if they see them lying about the house - I've heard of so many of them going missing."
However, the long-term health implications of vapes - which contain nicotine similar to cigarettes - aren't exactly known.
The NHS reports that while vaping is thought to be significantly less harmful that smoking, it is not without its risks.
A recent study showed how smoking and vaping can affect the lungs differently, also comparing the results to five people who had never smoked.
The researchers found that those who smoked e-cigs showed greater pulmonary inflammation than cigarette smokers and those who have never smoked or vaped.
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