A TEEN who was vaping 100 times a day says he nearly died from the mystery lung disease plaguing e-cigarette users.
Cooper Stevens, 16, was put on a ventilator for nine days after his lungs started to “shut down” due to his vaping addiction.
And now he is warning others about the dangers of e-cigarettes – in a desperate bid to prevent anyone from suffering the same fate as he did.
Cooper, from Indiana in the US, had previously brushed off the warnings surrounding e-cigarettes and used to use his Juul, a type of vape, constantly before he fell ill last month.
Speaking about his addiction, he said: “I had it on me like every second of the day.
“I’d use it at least 100 times a day – I think the main thing was like the smoke that comes out of them and there’s people who do tricks with them and then there’s nicotine in them and then you get hooked on the nicotine and you don’t want to stop.”
However, three weeks ago, the youngster began suffering from chest pain, headaches, body aches and a fever.
And as his health continued to deteriorate, his mum rushed him to Riley Hospital for Children – where medics told Cooper he was in respiratory distress.
Dr. Jamie Bohnke, a physician at the hospital where Cooper was treated, said: “By the time his mum got him to Riley he was in respiratory distress.
“His oxygen was in the 60 per cent, he couldn’t breathe.
“At one point he looked at his mum and he asked, ‘Mum am I going to die?’”
Cooper was then put on a ventilator for nine days as multiple organs of his had failed.
The teen said: “I felt like my body was shutting down, really.”
Cooper’s mum Jacy was even told by doctors to prepare for the worst as her son was showing no sign of improvement.
She said: “To have the doctors look at you and say, ‘be prepared, your child may not recover’ – that was terrifying.”
Cooper is now urging others to quit vaping so that they don’t suffer in the same way he did.
He told ABC13: “I just want to go forward from here and try to help people to not vape, like my friends.”
Cooper’s ordeal follows a spike of mysterious and life-threatening lung diseases – believed to be linked to vaping – over the summer.
How safe are e-cigarettes in the UK?
In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality.
They’re not completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
The liquid and vapour contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.
While nicotine is the addictive substance in cigarettes, it’s relatively harmless.
Almost all of the harm from smoking comes from the thousands of other chemicals in tobacco smoke, many of which are toxic.
Nicotine replacement therapy has been widely used for many years to help people stop smoking and is a safe treatment.
There’s no evidence so far that vaping causes harm to other people around you.
This is in contrast to secondhand smoke from smoking, which is known to be very harmful to health.
In the US, six people are now reported to have died from vaping-related lung illnesses.
The latest person to die was in their 50s and from Kansas.
They were in hospital “with symptoms that progressed rapidly”, but also to have had a history of underlying health issues.
While more than 215 people, mostly otherwise healthy and in their teens or 20s, have shown up at hospitals with breathing difficulties.
Often they’ve also suffered with vomiting, fever and fatigue for several days prior.
I just want to go forward from here and try to help people to not vape, like my friends
Some have even ended up in intensive care on a ventilator for several weeks.
It’s prompted health bosses to issue a warning while they investigate the issue.
The US’s health protection agency, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said earlier this month that people should “consider restraining from using e-cigarette products”.
So far, officials say the cause is unknown, but they are carrying out investigations.
Dr Melodi Pirzada, chief paediatric pulmonologist in Mineola, New York, told The New York Times the outbreak is “becoming an epidemic… something is very wrong.”
The UK versus USA – how vaping compares
TWO chemicals found in two popular vaping flavours could destroy lung function, experts have warned.
Inhaling the popcorn and caramel e-cig liquids could increase a vaper’s risk of respiratory diseases, their findings suggest.
Popcorn flavoured e-cig liquid is especially harmful, thanks to the chemical diacetyl, which has been linked to “popcorn lung”.
In the UK, diacetyl was banned in e-cigarette liquid under the EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) in 2016.
So, e-liquids sold in the UK shouldn’t contain diacetyl but if you get your liquid on holiday, you may well find that it includes it.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump announced that he will be banning flavoured e-cigarettes, following a spate of vaping-related deaths.
The US President said vaping was a “new problem” – especially for children – after six deaths and 450 reported cases of lung illness across 33 states were tied to it.
Speaking at the White House, Trump his administration would implement strong rules to protect “innocent children” – like his 13-year-old son Barron.
He pointed to the influence of First Lady Melania, who tweeted this week that she was “deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children”.
More on vaping
Trump said: “We can’t allow people to get sick and we can’t have our youth be so affected.
“That’s how the first lady got involved. She’s got a son, together, that is a beautiful young man and she feels very, very strongly about it.
“People are going to watch what we’re saying and parents are going be a lot tougher with respect to their children.”
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