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Posted on: September 9, 2019 at 3:54 pm

We know that smoking tobacco can lead to cancer and other health complications, we’ve been smoking for over a millennium and there has been plenty of research on the harmful effects. While many successfully quit smoking altogether, there are many who have simply replaced this habit with an alternative that is perceived as being better than smoking cigarettes. While it is arguably better, that doesn’t mean harmless or without risk. 

Vaping has become extremely popular in the past several years, these flavoured juices which are available in nicotine and nicotine-free options have many people blowing strangely scentful clouds.

Recently an 18-year-old girl from Utah, who spent years performing vape tricks is now urging other users to put the pens down, as she ended up in the hospital with a rare lung disorder that put her in a medically induced coma [1].

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Maddie Nelson had been experiencing symptoms from vaping for several months, but the day that she suddenly started vomiting and ran a fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, was the day that she went to a local hospital in Payson. 

Chest x-rays revealed that her lungs were filled with fluid, and it was one of the worst cases the hospital had seen. Doctors shared that the glycerin in her vape juice had lead to her lungs growing abnormal fat particles.

It wasn’t long after she was admitted that she was transferred to the intensive care unit at Timpanogos Regional Hospital, and was placed in a medically induced coma for three days. Her family was told that her illness was caused by her vaping habits, and she was soon after diagnosed with eosinophilic pneumonia, which according to the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine is an uncommon acute respiratory illness that varies in severity.

According to the CDC, as of now, there are over 450 cases of lung illness related to vaping with 5 confirmed deaths [2]. The numbers keep rising, it was just over a week ago that NBC reported there were only  300 people affected across the United States, with only one death [3]. Many patients, including teens, report that vaping has caused shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, fever, nausea and vomiting. Several patients have been placed in a coma and health officials continue speaking out about the uncertainty of long-term effects of vaping.

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Maddie is now left unsure about what her future holds, she is still experiencing chest pain and requires oxygen overnight. 

We do not know the long-term effects of vaping, because it has not been around long enough to see the 10-year effects. We don’t yet know that the healing process is, or what it’s supposed to look like. 

Maddie shares to Fox 13 Now: “After going through this, I will never touch a vape again,”.

As the number of hospitalizations from vape related illnesses grows by over 50 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the health department in Milwaukee is taking the bold step of telling its residents in a health alert to stop using any kind of vaping device — immediately.

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This is a chemistry experiment that people keep inhaling.

“There is so much we don’t know about the contents of these products,” wrote Dawn Berkowitz, director of Maryland’s Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control, in a news release.

“The best way to keep yourself safe is to not use e-cigarettes or vapes.”

At this point, according to the CDC, the recommendations are quite simple: don’t vape [4]. Unfortunately, more time is needed to truly figure out what is going on.  

  1. Utah teen will ‘never touch a vape again’ after coma, lung disease https://www.foxnews.com/health/utah-teen-never-touch-vape-after-coma-lung-disease
  2. Outbreak of Lung Illness Associated with Using E-cigarette Products https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html
  3. Vaping-related lung disease cases surge to nearly 300 nationwide https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/vaping-related-lung-disease-cases-surge-nearly-300-nationwide-n1047621
  4. Don’t vape, CDC says, as US lung disease epidemic growshttps://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l5479
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