Dangers of vaping explained by Cheryl Phillips, coordinator of St. Joseph's Health Research Station in Canton
Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press

DETROIT – Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have transplanted two lungs from a person with lung damage.

The hospital system announced Monday that it believes it is the first in the country to perform surgery on a person who has suffered irreparable lung damage from vaping. He plans to host a news conference Tuesday to offer more details.

An electronic cigarette or vaping-related lung injury, also called EVALI, has been slimming over 2000 people in the US and one US territory since March, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They killed 39 people, including one in Michigan.

Man vaping (Photo: licsiren, Getty Images / iStockphoto)

All EVALI patients reported a history of using electronic cigarettes or vape products. Many who became ill said they used vape products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the chemical that causes most of the psychoactive effects of marijuana.

While the CDC has not yet identified any compound or ingredient causing these diseases, health officials say they have linked Vitamin E acetate, an additive in some THC products, to EVALI. The CDC reported last week that Vitamin E acetate was a "very strong culprit" in lung injury to the lungs.

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Until more is known, the CDC recommends people:

  • Refrain from using electronic cigarettes or vaping products, especially those containing THC.
  • Avoid buying electronic cigarette or vaping products, especially those containing THC, off the street.
  • Do not modify or add substances to e-cigarettes or vape products not provided by the manufacturer

Adults who use electronic cigarettes to quit smoking should not go back to smoking; they must weigh all the risks and benefits and consider the use of FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapies.

Follow Kristen Jordan Shamus on Twitter: @kristenshamus.


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