Girl who fell asleep with vape claims she's got 'popcorn lung' and could need oxygen tank by 30
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A 20-year-old girl has been diagnosed with 'popcorn lung' after becoming too 'attached' to her vape, with her admitting to falling asleep with it in her hand.
After claiming to have never smoked, the former supermarket maintenance coordinator began using disposable vapes around a year and a half ago because they were 'trendy'.
Abby, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, ended up becoming so addicted that she would get through one disposable vape a day, which is the equivalent to 140 cigarettes a week.
Working out to roughly £4.50 a pop, the habit set her back by £135 a month.
But as with smoking regular cigarettes, vaping can have a serious effect on a person's health - just as Abby was about to realise.
An ongoing cough issue soon developed into something progressively worse as last month, Abby was suddenly unable to breathe properly, leading to her to quickly dash to Milton Keynes University Hospital for treatment.
"I was laying there in the walk-in centre panicking and was crying because I couldn't catch my breath. I couldn't walk and my cough was just awful," Abby said of the ordeal.
"It was really scary. Initially I didn't know what was wrong, I knew I had asthma but it wasn't a feeling of an asthma attack.
"They called an ambulance and took me straight to resus because they couldn't get my breathing under control."
After she was taken into resus, the 20-year-old was given oxygen, X-rays and medication.
Doctors then diagnosed Abby with 'popcorn lung', formally known as 'bronchiolitis obliterans' - a condition that causes inflammation in the airways and affects one's ability breathe properly.
She claims she was told by docs that if she didn't kick the vaping habit within the next decade, she'd soon be relying on an oxygen machine to help her breathe - potentially by the age of 30 - something that came as a massive 'wake up call'.
As Abby is still struggling with her chest on a daily basis, she's keen to urge vapers to ditch their devices or at least reduce their consumption.
"When the doctor said it was caused by vaping I was quite shocked because all my friends vape, everyone from 18 to 25, a lot of people always carry a disposable vape around," she explained.
"So for it to happen to me and not anyone else I know, I was a bit like 'what?'
"I think you kind of look past the dangers. I think it shocked a lot of people, my best friend threw her vape away as soon as I went into hospital.
"I think a lot of people think that it's not going to happen to them."
She added: "Vaping is really not worth it. I struggle with my chest every single day now and I know a lot of other people do as well and they're still vaping.
"I'd urge people to throw their vapes in the bin. I know a lot of people use them as stress relief because you get a nicotine rush from it, and that's all fine but just reduce how much you use it.
"I think because it's always in your hand, it's not like a cigarette where you go out and light it, that's why people use them so much."
Despite feeling a lot better, she now takes eight steroids each morning and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future until her next appointment review.