Ontario teen’s vaping injury consistent with ‘popcorn lung,’ study suggests


Puzzling case put previously healthy 17-year-old on life-support

An Ontario teen who was put on life-support with a severe vaping-related illness may be the first documented case of a different form of damage linked to e-cigarettes, according to a study published Thursday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study suggests the teen’s condition is more in line with “popcorn lung” — named for factory workers who developed lung disease after breathing in heated flavouring — as opposed to the illness that’s been dubbed EVALI.

Medically known as bronchiolitis obliterans, popcorn lung is linked to diacetyl, a chemical that provides a buttery or caramel-like flavour. Although it’s safe to eat, it is dangerous to inhale.

The case emerged months ago, when the previously healthy 17-year-old turned up at the emergency room of a London, Ont., hospital with a severe cough, shortness of breath and a fever.

He was initially diagnosed with pneumonia and sent home with antibiotics, but returned five days later with worsening breathing difficulties, fatigue and nausea.

Doctors learned that in the five months leading up to his illness, the teen had vaped heavily each day, using a mix of flavoured e-cigarette cartridges bought online; his favourites were green apple, cotton candy and “dew mountain.” He also regularly added THC to the liquids.

Read full article here.

CBC News – November 21, 2019.

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