Just when you thought vaping was winning over the mainstream media, along comes, on the face of it, a couple of chilling stories that almost puts us back at square one.
In this case it’s a rehash of that ‘vaping gives you seizures‘ story and another that is very personal and extremely close to my heart – vaping gives student a collapsed lung…more on that one in a moment.
OK, it was former FDA supremo Scott Gottlieb that on his last day in office announced he was concerned at reports that vapers were getting seizures. I covered that load of prime BS in the article Gottlieb’s Last Spiteful Parting Shot Is To Falsely Link Vaping With Seizures – the clue’s in the title. I pretty much shot that argument down given there was NO evidence linking the 35 reported cases over an almost 10 year period.
But hey superstar crooner and one time actress Cher tweeted about it so it must be true…
Now we have reports that figure has jumped to 127 from those quoted back in April, and again the mainstream media has pounced and blown this wildly exaggerated claim out of all proportion adding the ominous line “other neurological symptoms possibly related to e-cigarettes” – note the use of the word possibly lol.
Look this story is so far fetched I’ll not bother going into it in any more detail. Suffice to say the number grew AFTER the FDA made the original announcement back in the spring and do remember many of the original reports came from folks taking mind bending illegal drugs and who had a history of seizures.
However it’s the ‘collapsed lung’ story that got my attention as you’ll see.
Has Vaping REALLY Collapsed A Young Man’s Lungs?
18-year-old Chance Ammirata, who hails from Florida USA, looks like he wants to become a model or at least social media star, so any publicity is good publicity I guess. I say that based on the plethora of photos and videos of the guy dotted around the internet, all very moody lol.
Now bare in mind he appears tall and slim and physique wise looks very similar to my son – who thankfully takes after his mother’s side of the family and not my, shall we say, chunkier lot 😉 This is EXTREMELY important as you’ll see soon.
OK, young Chance hit the headlines after reporting that his “addiction” to JUUL [what else could it have been lol] was the reason for his lung collapse and for the ‘mysterious‘ black dots on his lungs after a chest x-ray – worrying for sure and I seriously hope those black dots are nothing sinister.
However he says he vaped on one pod every two days for around 18 months, which in the scheme of things is pretty low.
He told the media:
I’ve never smoked cigarettes – it’s the Juul.
I really didn’t believe in addiction or that it could affect me or that I could get addicted until I did.
And then I suffered the consequences of my decisions.
Now that’s a quantum leap for sure – is Chance a medical professional? Does he have any evidence whatsoever it was the “JUUL what caused this”? No of course not but hey lets once again not let the facts get in the way of a good story right…
So what on earth could cause a tall and slim young man’s lung to collapse without any external trauma?
Well let’s look at the obvious and use my own son as a possible – OK probable – explanation.
My Son’s Spontaneous Pneumothorax
My son Harry is now 33, however 11 years ago I received a call late one night to say he’d been rushed into hospital with severe chest pains.
On arrival we found a junior doctor trying unsuccessfully to insert a chest drain through the side of my son’s chest. I’m not sure who was more flustered, the doctor, my son, or us.
Relief finally came after the young doctor eventually got the tube in – all the time my son was in bloody agony given only a local anesthetic was used – tough like his dad lol.
Immediately Harry’s colour came back and his shallow breathing steadied and thanks to some pain killers he was able to rest.
Chance called this procedure “emergency surgery” involving not one young doctor, but seven surgeons…maybe things are little more dramatic in the States, but hey I’m no doctor.
We were told this was a Spontaneous Pneumothorax which according to the BMJ occurs in approximately 100,000 YOUNG people between the ages of 18 to 28 per year, and is a “significant global health problem” occurring in healthy individuals, though smoking can in some cases heighten the risk.
The symptoms are EXACTLY as young Chance and my son reported and thankfully in the case of my son, once the lung was re-inflated he needed no further treatment and was certainly, and unlike Chance, not told to stop long distance running…though in my son’s case he tends to run away quite briskly when it’s his round at the bar 😉
And most importantly, my son has NEVER smoked nor vaped in his life.
Now imagine my shock.
Attacking JUUL and indeed vaping in general in the USA is extremely fashionable right now.
Now I’m not saying young Chance has chanced his arm here, but I do think his wild allegations that vaping caused his ailment has given him his 15 minutes of fame and I bet he’s looking for more – the pin-up boy of the anti-vape brigade maybe?
The US media is hungry for ANY vaping bad news story and this young wannabe famous chap is I think a bit of a chancer to say the least – especially when his body build and symptoms correlate directly with what we know about Spontaneous Pneumothorax.
Like I said, I have no medical experience or knowledge, it’s just a cynical old journalist’s nose sniffing out what could be very opportunist for the wannabe model…only an opinion, don’t come for me.
Whilst researching this article I did find an interesting news piece from back in 2013.
Titled: Tall, thin young man? You could suffer from a collapsed lung – it pretty much sums it all up…
I do hope Chance recovers, gets his moment in the spotlight and is taken up by a model agency – not of course that I’m saying that’s the motive behind this story.
BTW, you’ll be pleased to know since Harry’s trip to hospital, he’s remained symptom free and if anything is leaner and fitter than back then…unlike his dad 😉