A man from England, who claims he suffered from a collapsed lung after vaping, is warning others about the potential hazards of electronic cigarettes.
Alex Gittins, 31, said that he had been buying disposable vapes from a shop called Easi-Vape in Bishop Auckland, England, for four months when, one day, he suddenly got a “horrible taste” in his throat.
“I started smoking it when it suddenly didn’t create the mist properly,” Gittins alleged to South West News Service. “There was a horrible taste in my throat.”
The roofer continued: “Then five or ten minutes later I was stood there and breathing in, but it felt like I had a massive stitch. It started getting worst over the next hour.”
His symptoms only continued to get worse, so he took himself to a walk-in clinic, where staffers immediately sent him to the hospital.
Once he arrived at the hospital, his breathing continued to get worse, and doctors told him the shocking news that his right lung had collapsed.
He was then transferred to a respiratory ward in the hospital where they reinflated his lung, but, unfortunately, it didn’t seem to work. His lung continued to leak fluid and doctors had a hard time fixing it.
A few days later, he was rushed back to the hospital for emergency surgery. The surgeons removed a piece of his lung, stapled it back together and inflated it again.
After a few days in the hospital, he was finally discharged, but Gittins alleged that he still has trouble catching his breath and has to have weekly checkups.
The ordeal has forced him to take time off from his job and, now, he is pursuing legal action against the shop, as he believes it was the vape that sent him to the hospital in the first place.
Vapes have been used as a bridge for people who are trying to quit smoking tobacco, but they may not be a safe option for everyone, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, as studies show that chemical additives and other contaminants found in some devices may wreak havoc on your health. Moreover, they still contain nicotine, the addictive component of cigarettes.
As of February 2020, there was a total of 2,807 hospitalizations or deaths associated with e-cigarette, or vaping, product use-associated lung injury, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gittins is expecting his first child with his partner this fall and is worried about the potential effects it could have on children.
“My major concern is that this could have happened to kids,” he told SWNS.
“So many of them are running around smoking vapes and yet the government is doing nothing to get them banned.”
Gittins also claimed that hospital staff told him that they had been seeing “more and more incidents” like his.
Currently, he is in contact with a lawyer to help him with his case and also alleged that he had reported the shop to the United Kingdom’s Trading Standards three weeks ago.
“Something’s not right — kids could die,” Gittins said.
However, a spokesperson for the vape shop told SWNS that there is “no evidence” that their vapes caused Gittins’ lung to collapse.
“Durham council has been out to see us,” the spokesperson said. “All of our products have an MHRA number on them and are totally legal.
“Alex can do what he likes, there’s no evidence that our vapes caused what happened to him.”
They also claimed that Gittins had been smoking for 15 years.
“We don’t know what he wants but we’ve got all our evidence,” the spokesperson concluded.