Two teenagers are facing child endangerment charges after allegedly letting a 2-year-old inhale from a vape while they were babysitting.
Pennsylvania State Police received a tip Sunday about a video posted on Snapchat that showed the incident, according to a press release.
Police said that while a 17-year-old female was babysitting the toddler last week, the 2-year-old grabbed hold of a vape pen from a nightstand. But instead of taking the vape pen away, the teen and her friend, 18, instead recorded a video of the toddler taking an inhale before breaking into a fit of coughs and starting to cry, police allege.
The two girls — who are both unrelated to the toddler — appear to be laughing in the background of the video, which was obtained by local Pennsylvania station WPXI.
The vape that the toddler inhaled from did not contain THC, police said, but did contain three percent nicotine.
The child’s mother had no idea that her son had gotten hold of a vape pen until the authorities contacted her days after the babysitting session on January 9.
“I’m disgusted,” the toddler’s mom, who chose not to reveal her or her son’s identity, told WPXI. “I’m very upset.”
“I’m in disbelief that they would even laugh, or have something like that in reach of a child’s possession,” she added to the outlet.
Police said that the charges against the two teens are pending, and the investigation is still ongoing.
The negative health effects that vaping can cause is a growing concern in the United States.
Earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration announced a ban on fruit and mint-flavored e-cigarettes, as well as vaping products specifically “targeted to minors or whose marketing is likely to promote use” by children.
There have been 57 confirmed e-cigarette or vaping associated lung injury (EVALI) deaths across 27 states and the District of Columbia as of January 7, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control released last week.