Skip to main content

While many of us would opt for vaping over smoking, it may not be such a good idea. For some time now, many have chosen vapes over cigarettes, believing them to be the safer alternative, but apparently, that isn’t the case.

Over the past few years, a seemingly innocent alternative has pushed many to change their habits. However, doctors in Michigan recently performed a double lung transplant in a patient who had lung damage from vaping.

The Patient in Detroit

Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital housed a 17-year-old patient, who ended up in surgery for over 6 hours.

Before that, he endured complete lung failure, and without an operation, he would have ended up dead.

The young man was an athlete, who entered the hospital with what looked like pneumonia. Within a short time, his condition became so great that he ended up on the top of the transplant list.

“What I saw in his lungs was nothing that I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve been doing lung transplants for 20 years,”  explained Hassan Nemah, his doctor, and the top surgical director at the hospital.

“There was an enormous amount of inflammation and scarring, in addition to multiple spots of dead tissue. And the lung itself was so firm and scarred, literally we had to deliver it out of the chest,” he continued. “This is an evil that I haven’t faced before.”

Vaping-related illnesses have killed at least 39 people and resulted in 2,000 hospitalizations in the past year.

“This is a preventable tragedy,” Nemeh said. “This senseless type of product needs to be fought.”

THC and vitamin E Acetate

When asked, Nemeh and the other doctors refused to answer as to whether or not the vape the teen had used was THC or nicotine. However, according to the CDC, vitamin E acetate is the likely culprit of this outbreak.

Vitamin E has been found in THC products, and 29 samples of lung fluid.

While THC eventually dissipates from the lungs, vitamin E does not.

Based on CDC data, 86% of 867 patients had admitted to using THC in the preceding three months before getting sick. Out of those, over one-third used THC products by themselves. 11% stated that they had used nicotine additionally.