Teenager shares her personal experience of smoking e-cigarettes, urges public to stop using them before it’s too late

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A teenager from Maryland, United States recently shared on Instagram a picture of her being stranded in a hospital bed, various tubes attached to her body. The reason behind her condition? Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes.

Credit: Unsplash (Image for illustration purpose only)

The woman, Claire Chung, wrote on her social site to spread awareness about the severity of complications involved in smoking e-cigarettes. She added that despite the possibility of her life being saved eventually, the damage in her lungs cannot be undone.

It all started when Claire was suddenly exposed to high fever for three consecutive weeks. At first, she thought it was just a common fever, but the medication she was taking showed no signs of recovery.

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Please share this post with anyone who uses a juul, vape, e-cig, wax/oil cartridges, etc. For the past 3 weeks, I had a consistent high fever of 104 with no other symptoms whatsoever. From this, we assumed the flu or a cold so after a couple weeks of taking OTC meds with nothing helping, I went to get checked out further. After considerations of malaria, autoimmune disorders, and many many other tests, a chest x-ray showed what they though was slight pneumonia in the lower area of my left lung. After being on two antibiotics for 48 hours, the fevers were still spiking to 104, so I went into the ER on Christmas morning. I was hospitalized and given iv fluids and antibiotics. Between the emergency, infectious disease, and pulmonary departments, they exhausted all tests and options and still nothing was helping. a CT scan of my lungs was ordered and it revealed extremely disturbing results. Healthy lungs on a scan should be black. My 19 year old lungs were completely hazy and white in the scans, entirely covering both lungs. I was taken by ambulance to be admitted into more intensive care. They couldn’t determine whether the scans were showing fluid, blood, bacteria, infection, etc. so they were still unable to actually treat the cause of my symptoms. After conducting many more tests and a bronchoscopy, it was determined that there was no infection and that my lung tissue was just completely destroyed from using juuls and vapes and oil cartridges. Not only is there severe damage in my lungs, but from when I started school to when I graduate, my only break was this month of December. That means if this had happened a couple of weeks earlier or a couple of weeks later, I would not have had access to healthcare and this would never have been caught. In that case, I would most likely be DEAD within the next month. Please take it from personal experience that this is NOT worth it from something as stupid as a nicotine device. The stories that you’re hearing online are REAL. Death was a VERY real possibility, I am still hospitalized on a laundry list of iv drugs and steroids, I may have permanent scarring in my lungs, and it’s all because of juuls and carts.

A post shared by Claire (@clairechunggg) on

With her health condition deteriorating rapidly, Claire decided to go to the hospital’s emergency room last Christmas morning. Unfortunately, much to her despair, doctors were unable to find the cause of her pain. A series of x-rays were performed on her lungs, after which doctors immediately detained Claire at the Intensive Care Unit.

Her lungs were severely inflamed. However, even after conducting various tests, doctors were still looking at a dead end. They couldn’t identify what exactly was the reason behind her illness. That was when Claire figured out that these might be the effects of an electronic cigarette, which she had been actively using.

Following that, doctors affirmed that the electronic device could be the cause of her damaged lungs as they have not had any such cases before. Claire then once again uploaded a picture of an x-ray showing her fogged up lungs.

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In regards to my last post…. These are my chest CT scans in comparison to how normal, healthy scans should look. My bronchial tubes are EXTREMELY inflamed beyond belief and all the white haziness (which should be black and clear on a healthy scan) is damaged tissue. When the pulmonologist came to me with the results, he was in complete shock. He genuinely had no reaction other than “wow.” This is a lung specialist who looks at diseased scans everyday for a living telling a NINETEEN year old girl that he’s never seen anything like this before. Because there is no research on juuls/carts/vapes, they could see all this damage but could not treat it. The doctors couldn’t tell whether this was blood, fluid, bacteria, a virus, inflammation, etc. Basically, the treatment for some would kill me if it was another. I could hear the tension and apprehension in every one of my doctors voices of not knowing whether or not they could help me or if I was going to live or die. The scariest part is that even with the extent of the damage, I never once felt any of it. I never experienced any shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, chest pain, or ANY signs respiratory distress or issues. It is truly a SILENT killer. Just because you can’t feel it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. You don’t understand regret until your doctors are staring you in the face telling you they don’t know if they can save your life, knowing in your head that you willingly brought it upon yourself despite countless warnings to stop.

A post shared by Claire (@clairechunggg) on

From the scanned images, it can be seen that both sides of the lungs appear to be cloudy. Healthy lungs should be clearly visible in when scanned under an x-ray.

Claire wrote that it could be her last post, because she is yet to undergo treatments as doctors are still figuring out the appropriate diagnosis to administer to her. She added that before she took an electronic cigarette, she had never experienced cough, chest pain and difficulty in breathing, the symptoms which lead to her current condition.

The teenager also advised people to not use electronic cigarettes and if anyone has already taken them, she hopes they stop before they end up on a hospital bed like her.

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