The mother of a baby boy who was filmed breathing from a vape pen has apologized for the disturbing footage which she says was “just a joke”.
A disturbing video of a baby sucking on a vape while his young mother and others watched sparked outrage across Australia.
The mother has now willingly identified herself as Annie Donovan, 16, of the NSW Mid-North Coast.
Ms Donovan said she was unaware she was being filmed holding the vape near 11-month-old Lebron’s mouth and insists she learned a ‘huge lesson’.
“It was just a lame joke, I put the vape next to him and I never thought he would get it, I thought he would push it away,” she told the Daily telegram.
“I know I did wrong, but what people say and write to me is full, I don’t deserve that.”
The mother and son have now been willingly identified as 16-year-old Annie Donovan and 11-month-old Lebron from the NSW Mid-North Coast
Last week, a disturbing video of a baby sucking on a vape while his young mother and others watched hysterically sent waves of shock and anger across Australia
Her mother, Kristy, said her daughter had learned her lesson after one of the worst weeks of her life, saying she was a good mother to Lebron.
They were forced to move onto the highway after Ms Donovan received a bout of death threats and violent messages after the video was circulated on social media.
NSW police visited the family home on Wednesday to inquire about the baby’s well-being and seize the vape pen, which was nicotine-free. They also investigate death threats.
Last week, multiple videos emerged of baby Lebron coughing after inhaling the toxic fumes.
In one clip you can hear a woman say, “Do you want to try it?” holding up the vapor before pressing it against the child’s lips and letting the boy inhale.
The baby is seen writhing as he coughs and splutters as the women watch, giggling at his reaction.
The baby is seen writhing as he coughs and sputters as the women watch, giggling at his reaction
While no further action has yet been taken by police, the NSW Minister for Family last week ordered her department to launch an urgent investigation.
“Police have now spoken to the child’s family and – following advice from medical professionals and other government agencies – no further police action will be taken,” NSW Police said.
It comes after relatives of the little boy broke their silence to condemn Ms. Donovan’s actions, who they said was just doing her best.
“It really sucks, I won’t say it isn’t and I would remove my nephew from that situation,” the baby’s aunt shared Seven News.
“Honestly, it made me sick, but she’s a young mom and she’s doing her best. It was just a stupid mistake she made with a bunch of friends,” a second added.
The family broke their silence after the little boy’s mother responded to the widespread backlash in a foul-mouthed Facebook diatribe.
“Any asshole has the skin to sit there and talk about me and my kid, look in your own backyard. “You’re not perfect either, so keep that mouth open, you’re not scary, you’re nothing but bums,” she wrote.
While no further action has yet been taken by police, the NSW Minister for Family last week ordered her department to launch an urgent investigation
The baby boy’s mother took to social media to defend her actions in a foul-mouthed tirade
Meanwhile, the footage has prompted NSW Families Minister of Labor opposition leader Chris Minns to consider tougher laws if he is elected prime minister.
“Obviously (they are) very disturbing images,” he said. “We will look at legislative changes if necessary. This is abhorrent and should not happen.’
The incident comes as the number of poisonings from fumes among children under the age of four has risen alarmingly in the past year.
The NSW Poison Information Center received 213 calls about exposure to e-cigarettes and liquids under the age of four in 2022, compared to 127 the previous year.
Last year, the National Health and Medical Research Council released a report on e-cigarettes that found that vapors can contain hundreds of dangerous chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray.
This is in the vapor, which is composed of various chemicals such as heavy metals – even if it is labeled ‘nicotine-free’.
Worrying facts about vaping:
Many vapes contain nicotine which makes them addictive
Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals as cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer, and bug spray
Vaping can put young people at increased risk for depression and anxiety
The nicotine in one can = 50 cigarettes. Depending on the size of the vapor and nicotine strength, it can be much higher
Young people who vape are three times more likely to start smoking cigarettes
Vape aerosol is not water vapor
Vaping has been linked to lung disease.
Vaping can have long-lasting harmful effects on the brain and physical development.
Source: NSW Government