New super powerful vape pens from America, some of which are equivalent to smoking 125 cigarettes, are raising a health warning in children.
Geek bars – powerful and colorful nicotine devices – are widely available here both online and in stores and come in a range of flavors including chewing gum and ice cream.
On the Tik Tok social media site, there were even users who claimed to be only 12 years old, who boasted of having tried the products, while posts and videos discussing them were posted under the hashtag “geekbar” that have been viewed more than 46 million times.
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Meanwhile, someone on Facebook claimed they had vomited blood with friends and had nosebleeds and chest pain from using the vapes.
The single-use devices, priced at around £ 5, are pre-filled with 20 mg of nicotine and generally last between 500 and 600 puffs before they’re supposed to be thrown away.
However, a model called the Geek Bar Pro is said to have a nicotine level equivalent to smoking 125 cigarettes – double the UK legal limit – which means it doesn’t meet drug and health product regulator requirements.
Often labeled “For the US” on packaging, it is unclear how geek bar pros are getting to the UK, leading a leading academic to call their rising popularity a “major crisis for young people”.
Andrew Bush, Professor of Pediatrics at Imperial College London, also cited the 2020 case of Ewan Fisher, the Nottinghamshire teenager who struggled for his life after six months of vaping, leaving him with what medical professionals call “the lungs of one.” 80-year-olds “designated -old”.
“It is addicting young children and makes them addicted to nicotine. It’s really, really worrying, ”Prof. Bush told the Daily Mail.
“Nobody knows exactly what substances are in these fluids. I can’t imagine putting hot, unregulated chemicals in your lungs is a bad idea.”
A UK government spokesman said that products that do not meet MHRA requirements should be subject to local trade standards enforcement.
He added that the situation would continue to be monitored and regulatory and legal action would be taken if necessary.
Geek Bar was asked for a comment.
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