Health warning:  Concerns raised over vaping after teenager’s lung collapses

Chance Ammirata, 18, became hooked on smoking Juul e-cigarettes after starting the habit when he was just 16. The teenager described his first warning sign as a crushing pain which made it difficult to sleep on his left side. The initial discomfort took a turn for the worst after going bowling with a friend. Speaking to, chance revealed: “I remember she made me laugh and it felt like my chest was collapsing, like I was having a heart attack.” 

He was rushed to hospital, where he said an entire team of surgeons worked on him.

“Seven surgeons came in, and it’s scary when you see seven surgeons come in, you think they’re going to tell you you have like five days to live,” Chance said.

The teenager recalled the surgeons spotting black dots and a hole inches lung. 

“When they did the actual major surgery to re-inflate my lungs, the surgeon said, ‘whatever you’ve been smoking has been leaving these black dots on your lungs,’” he said.

He added: “I’ve never smoked cigarettes – it’s the Juul.”

This incident comes after fourteen teens and young adults have been hospitalised in Wisconsin and Illinois for breathing problems potentially linked to vaping, health officials in both states announced.

In Wisconsin, severe lung disease has sent 11 people to the hospital, according to the state’s Department of Health Services. 

And in Illinois, three young people have been hospitalised for severe breathing problems after vaping, the state Department of Public Health recently announced.

“The names and types of vaping products, as well as where they were obtained, are still being investigated,” the department said.

 The teenagers from Milwaukee, Waukesha and Winnebago counties were brought to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin with extreme cough, shortness of breath and fatigue.  

The hospital said the number of patients in such a short time frame is concerning, CBS affiliate WDJT reported. 

Some patients needing assistance in order to breathe, the hospital said.

Hospital officials said that some of the teens had lost weight from vomiting and diarrhoea.

The popularity of vaping is obviously skyrocketing among our kids

Dr. Michael Gutzeit

It was alarming to have, over a short period of time, eight previously healthy teens come in very sick, unable to breathe, with weight loss, looking as if they had some sort of chronic lung disease when they didn’t,” Dr. Louella Amos, a paediatric pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“The popularity of vaping is obviously skyrocketing among our kids and its dangers are still relatively unknown,” Dr. Michael Gutzeit, chief medical officer of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, said in a statement. “We don’t have a lot of information about the long-term effects or even the short-term effects.”

Recalling how he got into vaping, Chance said: “Everyone was doing it…and the problem was no one was saying they were addicted, just using it occasionally when they were stressed, so it was different from a cigarette.”

The teenager claimed medics told him he can never run cross country because his body will not be able to cope.

Chance said: “He said running occasionally is okay after a month or two of healing, but constant running is just not going to be on my agenda, and that really sucks, because I’m 18, and that really sucks to have that happen so young.”

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