A Horwich headteacher has called for action on e-cigarettes after two students collapsed in school from the effects of the devices.

Tony McCabe, the headteacher of St Joseph's RC High School, said the prevalence of the e-cigarettes is akin to "a pandemic".

Over the last two years, two students collapsed in school.

Both borrowed the devices from friends before school, then arrived and became ill from the effects of "dangerous drugs", one of them stopping breathing for a short time.

A lot of legal vapes contain a combination of chemicals less harmful than cigarettes, although not harmless, but some illegal vapes contain illicit drugs as well.

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A letter to parents sent by Mr McCabe and seen by The Bolton News reads: "As you can imagine, this was distressing for the staff and the parents and this is the reason I wish to do everything within my power to make sure this does not happen again on my watch.

"I am told by headteachers of other schools both locally and nationally this is their experience too.

"I know how easy it is for parents to assume their children would know better than to use a vape but, as a father of four young people, I know it would be naive of me to think my own children are immune from the influence of others or the pressure to use a vape."

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The action on e-cigarettes taken at St Joseph's RC High School includes an appeal to parents to speak to their children and check their bags and clothes, as well as some work with addiction awareness organisation Whysup.

But Mr McCabe said MPs and others must campaign on the dangers of the devices, suggesting these are advertised towards children in flavours such as candy floss, with some of these ads even appearing on buses to school.

He told The Bolton News: "It might have an attractive label on there, but you don't know what it's doing to you.

"I think we're into a pandemic where people are using e-cigarettes without knowledge of the impact it's having on them."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.