Teenager Believes Rare Lung Disease Was Caused By Vaping
A teenager who was left in a coma after developing a rare lung condition is warning people not to smoke or vape.
The 18-year-old was put on a ventilator and placed in a medically-induced coma for three days, as she was struggling to breathe on her own, and was brought out of it on 3 August. Doctors subsequently diagnosed her with acute eosinophilic pneumonia - a rare disease caused by a build-up of white blood cells in the lungs.
Maddie was prescribed steroids to tackle inflammation, however, she still needs oxygen overnight to counter tightness in her chest.
She began vaping zero-nicotine liquids three years ago - before increasing to 3mg of nicotine - and having survived this scare, she is now warning people not to vape.
Writing online, she said: "I am sharing my story so you all are aware that there is something crazy in these pens that is not safe and almost cost me my life.
"I used to just tell myself it won't happen to me, but it can and will happen to you too.
"Take my advice, don't smoke, don't vape."
Speaking to Fox 13, she confirmed doctors had told her the rare disease was likely caused by vaping.
She said: "When you inhale the moisture [from e-liquids], it's just creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow inside your lungs and for infection to start.
"And that is basically what happened."
However, it is worth noting that while vaping isn't entirely risk-free, it is significantly less dangerous than smoking, as e-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide.
Research carried out by Public Health England last year found that vaping is 95 percent less harmful than smoking. The study also found that 44 percent of smokers wrongly believed vaping to be just as harmful.
In order to counteract this misunderstanding, the agency has released a film in which an experiment demonstrates the damaging impact of smoking, in contrast to vaping.
In the video, smoking expert Dr Lion Shahab and Dr Rosemary Leonard demonstrate just how much tar accumulates in the body as a result of smoking.
Vaping has also been proven to be a more effective means of quitting smoking than simply attempting to go cold turkey. Around 2.5 million people in England use e-cigarettes and figures show they have helped many to quit smoking.
Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe