An 18-year-old student, Maddie Nelson, has suffered ‘catastrophic lung damage’ after vaping every day for three years. Maddie, from Utah, USA, was rushed to hospital after struggling to breathe and having severe back and kidney pain. She was then put into a medically-induced coma.
Maddie’s sister Andrea said that an X-Ray showed ‘severe’ damage to her lungs. Maddie was then diagnosed with ‘acute eosinophilic pneumonia’ on August 1 – a rare disease where white blood cells accumulate in the lungs. Andrea said doctors suspect Maddie’s lung disease was caused by ‘electronic vaping sources’ which includes e-cigarettes and pens.
Maddie is now out of a coma and able to breathe independently, and along with her sister is raising awareness of the potential dangers of vaping. Andrea created a GoFundMe to spread the word about Maddie’s story, saying vaping is ‘not a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes’.
Andrea says while vapes and e-cigarettes are generally deemed safe, ‘there is not enough data to support that’. She adds that vapes and e-cigarettes have not been in use long enough for side effects to be properly identified, describing Maddie’s generation as the ‘guinea pigs of the popularising of the ‘vape life”.
Maddie also shared her story on Facebook, writing ‘To anyone who thinks vape is a safe alternative to smoking you are wrong,’ starting the hashtag ‘#stopthevape’.
This comes after a patient in the US was said to be the first person to die from an illness linked to vaping, reports The Independent.
Meanwhile, almost 200 people in the US are said to have respiratory illnesses linked to vaping, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports Metro.
The CEO of vape company Juul has also made a statement, telling non-smokers, who ‘don’t have a pre-existing relationships with nicotine’ not to use vapes.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.
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