Instagram | @chanceammirata

Teen Warns About The Dangers Of Vaping After Suffering Collapsed Lungs

When e-cigarettes were first introduced as alternative to tobacco, they were sometimes mocked for looking a bit silly, but ultimately grew in popularity due to the belief (and marketing) that they were a safer way to enjoy the buzz of nicotine.

It's no wonder that once they became popular, they became really popular. Particularly among teens.

Of course, vaping hasn't been around long enough to fully understand the dangers yet.

Unsplash | Nery Zarate

But unlike tobacco, modern science and word of mouth has been much quicker to find troubling signs that vaping may not be the safe habit some might like to believe.

Though they contain no tobacco, e-cigarettes still contain many of the same toxic chemicals.

Flickr | Lindsay Fox

According to the National Center for Health Research, tests by the FDA and other researchers have found chemicals such as formaldehyde in levels higher than the EPA recommends for humans, benzene, and "tobacco-specific compounds that have been shown to cause cancer in humans, and other toxic tobacco-specific impurities."

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These are all preliminary studies and there is more data needed, but anecdotal evidence is also mounting.

Most commonly, we see stories about the vaping devices exploding. Rough data estimates 2,035 e-cigarette explosion and burn injuries between 2015-2017, in the US.

But we are also beginning to hear more stories about people with serious health issues likely caused by their vaping habits.

The latest is 18-year-old Chance Ammirata, who was just released from the hospital.

Instagram | @chanceammirata

He told ABC 7 that he woke up in a lot of pain.

Eventually, he went to the hospital feeling like he was having a heart attack.

What he actually had was a collapsed lung.

Instagram | @chanceammirata

Doctors discovered a pulmonary bleb on Chance's lung. Blebs are pockets of air trapped between the lung itself and the outer casing. If they pop, it can result in a collapsed lung.

Notably, blebs are common among people with emphysema, a condition often associated with longterm smoking.

Chance fully admits that he thought his Juul was safe and that he didn't believe people who warned against it.

Instagram | @chanceammirata

But now he wants his story shared so that more teens are aware of the dangers.

In the 18 months he's been vaping, Chance averaged about one pod every two days, which is roughly equivalent to 10 cigarettes per day.

Doctors told him that inhaling from his Juul too rapidly is what likely caused the bleb to pop.

Instagram | @chanceammirata

During surgery, doctors found black blotches all over Chance's lungs, which they attributed to "whatever he'd been smoking."

Though he's recovering well, Chance now has to limit the amount of pressure he puts on his lungs. He can never run long distance or scuba dive, and plane travel isn't recommended for the foreseeable future.

He says that even if he could vape again, he wouldn't.

"You really shouldn't either. I know how hard it is to change anyone's mind who's addicted because I was too.

"And I don't think anyone could have said anything to make me stop.

"But your lungs most likely look like this too if you've been smoking.

"Don't let it get worse. Please stop."

h/t: The Mirror