Teen Nearly Killed After Vaping for a Year Shares Horrifying Image of Collapsed Lungs

By Li Yen, Epoch Times
August 8, 2019 Updated: August 14, 2019

Warning: Graphic Content Inside

If you think that an e-cigarette—a battery-operated device that heats nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals to create a water vapor that you inhale through its mouthpiece—is mostly harmless and a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes, you are wrong. In truth, using an e-cigarette (called vaping) may be more dangerous than we previously thought.

Vaping is believed to have caused eight teenagers from Milwaukee, Waukesha, and Winnebago counties to be hospitalized with severe lung damage in July, as per a statement released by Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WisDHS). The teens experienced symptoms like extreme coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Some of them also had fever, nausea, and chest pain.

And in Florida, the toxic chemicals from Juul pods, a brand of vaping device that looks like a sleek USB memory stick, which is popular among teens, nearly killed Chance Ammirata, an 18-year-old student at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami.

An illustration shows a man exhaling smoke from an electronic cigarette in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 2, 2018. (Illustration – Getty Images | EVA HAMBACH)

On July 29, Chance Ammirata woke up late as he spent the night trying to sleep on his right side. It brought him pain if he lay on the left side. Even sitting in the hard plastic chairs was unbearable.

When his friend made him laugh, he felt like his chest was collapsing, “like I was having a heart attack,” he told MailOnline.

The pain only worsened. Suspecting he was suffering from a muscle strain, he went to the hospital to seek treatment. Unexpectedly, he was seen by a whole team of doctors.

“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,” he recounted.

Doctors told him his left lung had collapsed. He then underwent emergency surgery to reinflate his lung and repair damage. They found a hole in his lung and black dots, which may take years to heal and may never disappear completely.

“It was completely abrupt,” he said.

The teen believes his left lung collapsed after vaping one mint Juul every two days for the past 18 months. If he hadn’t gone to the hospital in time, he would have died.

Though Ammirata’s life was saved, he will never be able to run cross country or scuba dive again.

“I wanted to get into cross country, because I love running, but the doctor said that’s definitely not an option,” Ammirata 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.”

Now he hopes others will see his story as a warning. #GETMORE on the dangers of using Juuls and other e-cigarettes.

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Ammirata used to think vaping was a “safe” alternative to smoking cigarettes. After a close shave with death, he now shares his story as well as the horrifying images, which show the black dots on his lungs, to warn others of the dangers of vaping.

Taking to Twitter, he warned: “You thought Juuls were safe. So did I the black dots on my lungs are all reminiscence of juuling. I’ve been doing it for a year and a half and can never do it again. You really shouldn’t either.”

Ammirata vowed to stop the habit of vaping. “I would never pick up a Juul or anything that has smoke, I’m never going to pick up again,” he said.

“There’s such a stereotype that it’s safe and my whole reason [for speaking out] is to warn people that it’s not safe,” he added.

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A post shared by Chance (@chanceammirata) on

In fact, a study conducted by a team from New York University suggests the nicotine inhaled from e-cigarettes could cause cancer and heart disease.

E-cigarettes also contain toxic substances such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and acrolein, which poison and damage the lungs. “And benzenes and diacetyl flavoring in the liquids have been linked to lung disease, while traces of heavy metals found in some vape juices can tear at fine lung tissue,” MailOnline reported.

In addition, the use of e-cigarettes is associated with wheezing in adults, according to a new study by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

“The take-home message is that electronic cigarettes are not safe when it comes to lung health,” said study author Deborah J. Ossip, a tobacco research expert and professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Ossip said the “changes we’re seeing with vaping, both in laboratory experiments and studies of people who vape, are consistent with early signs of lung damage, which is very worrisome.”

If you do not wish to end up in the hospital like Ammirata, please stop vaping and never ever pick up the habit.

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