A teenager whose lung collapsed has claimed the chemicals inside Juul pods almost killed him.
Chance Ammirata, from Florida, United States, used to smoke one pod every couple of days – the equivalent to around 10 cigarettes worth of nicotine – and is urging people to throw their vapes away.
His warning comes a week after he was rushed to hospital with a suspected muscle strain which turned out to be serious lung damage.
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 hospital.
Speaking to the Mail Online, 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 on his left lung, which had collapsed. They then inserted a tube into the lung and inflated it while they tried to fix the damage.
Chance 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’.”
According to reports, specialists told Chance he will not be able to scuba dive again and he should stop cross country running. He was also told it would be some time before he is able to get on a plane.
The teen added: “I’ve never smoked cigarettes – it’s the Juul.”
Chance has been sharing his story on social media, posting pictures and videos from the hospital bed, critcising Juul.
In a picture of his lungs posted to Twitter, 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.
“You really shouldn’t either. I know how hard it is to change someone’s mind who’s addicted because I was too.
“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.”
The post was shared with the caption: “PLEASE RETWEET THIS IS EFFECTING [sic] THE WORLD AND WE ARE THE ONES WHO CAN EFFECT CHANGE. DO NOT STOP SHARING SAVE LIVES. I WILL BE THE EXAMPLE IF IT MEANS NO ONE ELSE NEEDS TO BE!”ABC-7.com WZVN News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida