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Huntsville doctor warns about potentially severe lung disease associated with vaping

The Alabama Department of Public Health has identified five cases of severe lung disease that could be linked to vaping.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 7:54 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2019 12:28 PM

The Alabama Department of Public Health has identified five cases of severe lung disease that could be linked to vaping.

WAAY 31 spoke with a grandmother in Huntsville on Tuesday who said she convinced her teen grandson to quit vaping. She said he even experienced withdrawal symptoms when he quit. 

Photo: ABC News

"I dug it out of the trash can and then had a discussion with my grandson. I got materials from a partnership that has several brochures on vaping that goes through all the possible consequences on doing it," Karren Crowson said. "I didn't yell. I didn't get angry. I basically said if you want to quit, I'm here.”

WAAY 31 also spoke with the director of the Lung Center for Huntsville Hospital. Dr. Jason Smith said experts are still trying to figure out the long-term consequences.

"What's the point? If you have a risk of being in the hospital on a ventilator or some chronic disease, why would you smoke something when you have no idea what it is?" Smith said.

He described what doctors see in patients and said the problems are similar to smokers.

He tells WAAY 31, if you feel something wrong, then there is a problem.

"People don't know it until they feel it, so that's the problem with a lot of lung problems. By the time you start to feeling it, there's something wrong," Smith said.

That's why Karren Crowson said it's so important to talk with your children about the dangers of vaping.

"Half the kids don't even realize how much nicotine is in it and how addicting the nicotine is, so that's a major concern," she said.

Dr. Smith is telling people to stop vaping.

"I would urge folks to think about what they're putting into their body," he said.

Right now, doctors do not know the long-term effects from vaping, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are more than 450 cases of lung illness linked to vaping in 33 states.

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