Two weeks ago, Kevin Boclair started suffering from coughing fits, with his condition worsening after he was admitted to hospital, reported ABC7.
Health officials have recently warned people about vaping after the outbreak of a mysterious lung disease affected 215 people across 25 states and caused at least one death, reported Science Alert.
“It’s horrible, every day to see him like this,” Debbie Boclair, Kevin’s mother, told ABC7.
College student Kevin is currently on a heart/lung machine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Doctors said the teen has asthma but the damage to his lungs is most likely caused by vaping.
“They know it’s vaping,” Debbie told ABC7.
“This is even new to the doctors. They told me outright, you know, we’re treating all the things he had. He came in, he had double pneumonia. They treated that with antibiotics. They’re treating all the different things, but there’s parts they don’t even know what’s going on,” she said.
Kevin’s father Len is finding it difficult to cope with the fact that his son might have to go through lung transplant surgery.
“Honest to God, the first time I walked in there, right after this whole thing, honest to God, I thought he was dead. He looked dead,” Len said.
CDC’s Warning Against E-Cigarettes
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working with the state health department to determine what’s causing the vaping-linked outbreak, reported Science Alert.
“Anyone who uses e-cigarette products should not buy these products off the street and should not modify e-cigarette products or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer,” CDC Director Robert Redfield and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a statement.
The CDC said on its website that e-cigarettes or vapes are not safe for those who are not currently using tobacco products and scientists have much to learn about whether they are effective in helping to quit smoking.
“The use of e-cigarettes is unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and can harm adolescent brain development, which continues into the early to mid-20s,” said the CDC.
“Using nicotine in adolescence can harm the parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control.
“Each time a new memory is created or a new skill is learned, stronger connections—or synapses—are built between brain cells. Young people’s brains build synapses faster than adult brains. Nicotine changes the way these synapses are formed,” said CDC.
It added that aerosol present in e-cigarettes is not harmless “water vapor” and it can be harmful in the long run for lungs.
“For example, some e-cigarette flavorings may be safe to eat but not to inhale because the gut can process more substances than the lungs,” it said.
People have also been poisoned by inhaling or swallowing e-cigarette liquid through skin or eyes.