Children are buying super-strength vapes – equivalent to smoking 125 cigarettes – in a craze sparking health fears.
They are so powerful that young users have reported lengthy nosebleeds, coughing up blood, headaches, chest pains and dizzy spells.
More than 53,000 of the Geek Bars brand are sold every week in shops – up from around 2,000 in May – despite many having more than twice the legal level of nicotine, industry figures leaked to the Daily Mail show.
Thousands more are believed to be bought online.
While it is illegal to sell vapes to under-18s, social media is rife with posts from teenagers – and some even younger children – describing the vapes which come in flavours including fruit, bubble gum and ice cream.
The hashtag #geekbar has had 46million views on TikTok including videos praising ‘yummy flavours’ and joking about being ‘addicted’ to the devices which are like ‘crack’.
But most concern is focused on super-strong Geek Bar Pro products – which cost between £5 and £7.
High doses of nicotine can affect teenagers’ brain development.
Last night experts warned vaping was a ‘huge crisis for young people’ and called for action. TikTok also launched an investigation after being alerted by the Mail and pledged to ban accounts and remove videos that promoted the possession or consumption of the products by minors.
A range of Geek Bar vapes are on sale in the UK, some of which follow government regulations. But one of its highest-selling products is the Geek Bar Pro, many of which have a nicotine level of 5 per cent, more than double the UK legal limit of 2 per cent.
The Mail was this week able to buy the Geek Bar Pros with 5 per cent nicotine in shops around the country, including in Bristol, Leeds and Kent. The vapes are also available online and are promoted on social media including to children.
Tom Kelly – Daily Mail – 2021-09-06.