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What vaping does to your body

Posted at 9:04 AM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 10:04:19-05

Cardiac Surgeon Lucian Durham says inhaling a single puff from a vape, could make you his next patient.

The lung damage he's seen in patients ranging in age from 16 to 60, is the equivalent to someone smoking cigarettes for decades.

"It literally can kill you the first time you try it 36."

He says the liquid chemicals are the culprit.

When they are all flash heated at once, no one can predict what you're about to breathe in.

The unsafe ingredients may sound harmless, like vitamin e oil.

"When you inhale it, it goes down and essentially coats the alveoli."

Those are tiny sacs of the lungs which are crucial in your breathing.

If that's coated, the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide can not happen.

"So you get low oxygen and high CO2 and the high carbon dioxide in the blood turns into acid."

Your body does not function well in an acidic environment.

That causes an inflammatory response in your body called acute respiratory distress syndrome.

"They deteriorate very quickly, they get short of breath, light headed, pass out, cardiac arrest, we've had a couple of them show up getting CPR because its gotten so bad."

And you end up on this scary machine, until your body can safely breathe on its own again.

"We had some patients that literally looked like they were going to die before we got them on support."

He says a common myth is that patients only end up like this if they are vaping with THC, the chemical in marijuana that gives users a high.

"No. Probably most of them we see are nicotine. There's really no one particular substrate that causes it."

That unpredictability, is why he and health officials are warning that there is no safe way to vape.

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