Florida Teenager Warns Against Juuling After His Lung Collapsed

An 18-year-old student from Florida — who now says he is never smoking again — is warning of the dangers of vaping after his left lung collapsed on Monday.

Chance Ammirata used to smoke one Juul pod every couple of days, which is the equivalent to around 10 cigarettes worth of nicotine. Now he is urging people to throw their vapes away. His warning comes after he was rushed to hospital with a suspected muscle strain which turned out to be serious lung damage.


— Chance Ammirata (@Chanceammirata) August 5, 2019

The 18-year-old said he had been struggling to sleep due to a sharp pain in his left side. But it was only when he went out bowling with a friend that he was forced to go to the hospital due to the severe pain.

Speaking to The Daily Mail on Tuesday, he said: "Seven surgeons came in, and it's scary when you see seven surgeons come in. You think they're going to tell you you have like five days to live."

Doctors told the teenager they had found a small hole in his left lung, which had collapsed. They had inserted a tube into the lung to inflate it while they tried to fix the damage.

Ammirata added: "When they did the actual major surgery to reinflate my lungs, the surgeon said, 'whatever you've been smoking has been leaving these black dots on your lungs'."

Juul pods
Electronic cigarettes and pods by Juul, the nation's largest maker of vaping products, are offered for sale at the Smoke Depot on September 13, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Surgeons were able to repair the hole, but he was told that the "black dots" will likely take years to heal and may never disappear at all.

The teen added in his interview with The Daily Mail: "I've never smoked cigarettes - it's the Juul."

Ammirata has been sharing his story on social media, posting pictures and videos from the hospital bed, criticizing Juul.

In a picture of his lungs posted to Twitter on Monday, he wrote: "You thought Juuls were safe, so did I. The black dots on my lungs are all reminiscence of Juuling. I've been doing it for a year and a half and can never do it again."

"And I don't think anyone could have said anything to make me stop. But your lungs most likely look like this too if you've been smoking. Don't let it get worse. Please stop. Like really please, it's so f***ing scary."

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This whole experience is absolutely insane and life changing (disclaimer I don’t always look this bad just when I’m glued to the hospital bed for 5 days) I came into this experience completely negative mad at the world , and scared of how things were gonna turn out after my lung collapsed. But I decided to take this negative and completely find another meaning. I decided that spreading my story could help others not have to go through the same thing as me. One by one reading each message from every single one of you explaining how I was able to CHANGE YOUR MINDSET I was able to help you throw out your juul. Makes you realize enough is enough and that nicotine is rotting our brains and destroying our bodies. It overcame me with emotions. I’ve never been happier to make such a difference. My surgery to get my chest tube removed is scheduled in around 2/3 hours and I’m insanely nervous. But I want to make sure my story is always out there. And that the change doesn’t stop. Every day we need to fight to help not only ourselves but the ones we love put down the nicotine. This epedemic has taken enough. We don’t need more evidence telling us just how bad it is. How many more kids are going to have to get hospitalized for us to stop !? None should be the answer don’t take this with a grain of salt. And keep on pushing yourselves to take control of these cravings. I know it’s hard , and I know it will be a long one/2 weeks of getting over the addiction. But 1/2 weeks is so much more worth it than a lifetime of consequences. #lunglove #stopjuul #revolution #wewillmakeachange #wearenotcontrolled

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Juul and other vapes have been promoted as "safer" alternatives to cigarettes. They may lack some of the carcinogenic chemicals that are byproducts of combustible tobacco, but evidence that they are not safe is increasing.

Juul pods contain high concentrations of nicotine which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have deemed so addictive that they fuel an "epidemic" of youth vaping.

"There's such a stereotype that it's safe and my whole reason [for speaking out] is to warn people that it's not safe," Ammirata said on Tuesday.

The US Food and Drug Administration has received 127 reports of seizures or other neurological symptoms possibly related to e-cigarettes, the agency announced Wednesday.