Man who put vaping device in baby's mouth could face 20 years in prison if convicted

The 23-year-old, who has not been identified, said that the device was not functioning but has apologized, admitting he was wrong

Man who put vaping device in baby's mouth could face 20 years in prison if convicted
A man was arrested for placing an e-cigarette in a baby's mouth (R) for a viral video (Twitter/@NewsBFM)
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JOHOR, MALAYSIA — A man could face up to 20 years in prison for placing an e-cigarette in a baby's mouth for a viral video. The 23-year-old, who has not been identified, was arrested on Monday, August 8, in Johor, Malaysia, after the clip started making rounds on social media.

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The baby belongs to his friend's sister, according to North Johor Baru district police commander Rupiah Abd Wahid. She said the mother, her sister, and the man were at a restaurant when he placed the vape, which they claimed was non-functioning, in the seven-month-old's mouth.

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"All of a sudden, the man who was carrying the baby had jokingly placed the non-functioning e-cigarette into the baby’s mouth," Rupiah said in a statement. "This was recorded by the mother’s sister who posted it on social media and it went viral." The clip shows the man in question placing the vape in the baby's mouth before pulling it away to make it seem like the child was smoking. Rupiah said the mother filed a police report on August 6, after the clip went viral, and the man was arrested shortly after an investigation was launched. 

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While the baby did not appear to inhale fumes from the apparently non-functioning e-cigarette, the man could still be charged with exposing a child under care to danger. He could face a 20-year sentence, an RM50,000 ($11,218) penalty, or both – provided the court finds him guilty. Rupiah said the case should serve as a warning for the public to be careful about what they post on social media.

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The video received a lot of backlash on Twitter, with many accusing those involved of putting the seven-month-old's health at risk. "I did not just see a TikTok about someone putting a VAPE at the mouth of a newborn baby," one tweeted. "Some people stupid af !! Get that baby away from that f***ing vape!!" another wrote. "If you're going to let your baby vape might as well get an abortion in the first place. There are so many ways to prevent/end a pregnancy yet some parents still decide to harm their kids AFTER BIRTH?" another said. "I vape but I don’t do this to kids let alone a baby. This is so wrong. It’s not even funny," someone else added. "Giving vape to a freakin baby? A BABY? SICK PARENTS," a user commented. "How obnoxiously stupid do you have to be to post something like this on your story," another chimed in.

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The man has come forward after the outrage, admitting he was wrong and apologized. He reportedly took to Instagram on August 6 and admitted he was guilty of what he did. He claimed that "the device was no longer working and the baby has always been playing with it." He added that he had told the authorities his side of the story and further clarified that he's not the baby's father. "To those who said that I'm the father, you're wrong. I'm not the baby's father," he wrote.

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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